On Saturday, Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. the Charlotte 49ers will be facing the USC Upstate Spartans at home. This will be the third time the two teams have played each other and they split the series so a win will put either team up in the series. The Niners are coming off of two straight losses to Appalachian State and then Georgia State. A win for the Niners would give them some much needed momentum when they take on UNC Asheville on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Meanwhile the Upstate Spartans are in a somewhat worse situation in which they are on a five game slide and are looking for a win. Both teams are on losing streaks looking to end the slides and get back in the win column.
The 49ers are 2-3 and have just come off of an overtime loss where they shot 16 percent in the overtime period. Against the Spartans, the Niners are looking at their scoring leader and guard Jordan Shepherd to have a big bounce back game. In the previous game, he scored nine points shooting 2-7 while his season scoring average is 14.2 points per game. A better shooting outing from him will give his team a much needed push to go along with his 4.4 assists a game. The Niners are also looking for a repeat performance from their guard Drew Edwards who is coming off of a scorching hot shooting performance against Georgia State. Edwards dropped 24 points while shooting 7-10 from the field, 7-7 from the free throw line and adding five rebounds to go along with that. Edwards is also second on the team in scoring sitting at 12.2 points per game. Forward Amidou Bamba had a big game as well where he was perfect from the field dropping 14 points on 7-7 shooting and then grabbing 11 rebounds to secure a double double. He upped his season averages of points and rebounds and another big game could be the start of a strong triple threat consisting of Bamba, Edwards and Shepherd. Giving the Spartans their seventh loss, extending their losing streak to six, and strong performances from those three would be a huge confidence boost for the Niners.
The USC Upstate Spartans are 1-6 on the season and have just lost their fifth straight game. The Spartans this season are averaging more points against them then points that the are scoring. They have lost by at least 20 points in three of their losses and have only had one loss that was within two possessions. In their last game against Youngstown State they lost by five points and had four players in double figures, two of which were coming off of the bench. Two of their starters had zero points in that game despite playing at least 15 minutes. Everette Hammond is the leading scorer on the team with 12.1 points per game and Bryson Mozone is the team's rebounding leader at 5.3 rebounds per game. A win against the 49ers would stop the bleeding and provide the Spartans with a bit of confidence after the losing streak.
The Niners and the Spartans may be in similar situations but the Niners have had close losses, each of which have been less than 10 points. The Niners need an all around effort to win this game, and if it goes into overtime like two of their games already have, then they need to come out strong and use their good looks to prevent the previously abysmal overtime. A win for the Niners will put the team back at .500 and give Charlotte momentum going into a matchup with UNC Asheville on Tuesday, Dec. 3.