Photo credit: Alex Slitz, Charlotte Observer
What a game; I mean what really can be said about a game that good? A game with lead changes, three-pointers, tough finishes, dunks and did I mention an overtime buzzer-beater? No – oh well that happened too. Jackson Threadgill got the last shot of the game off with right around half a second left, and as the clock showed double zeros… splash!
“That was a really good basketball game as a whole,” head coach Ron Sanchez said after the game. “(I’ve got) so much respect for Davidson as a program and coach McKillop has those guys playing so well. That was a tough battle and I tip my hat to our opponent. I am glad we came out on top and I’m thrilled that Jackson (Threadgill) had the opportunity to make that shot being that he went to school right down the road from here.”
First Half Highlights
Charlotte jumped out to a 15-6 lead at the first media timeout. The 49ers shot 75 percent from deep during the stretch. The Wildcats were quick to take a timeout to get things settled down.
The Wildcat’s leading scorer on the season, Foster Loyer, started to catch fire, knocking down two three-pointers in the next eight-minute stretch, tightening the gap. Charlotte’s lead was just one point with 7:29 remaining in the first half.
After the Wildcats came back to take the lead, the 49ers stayed composed and found a way to grind out the last four minutes of the first half and take the lead back heading into halftime. The 32-30 advantage of the 49ers was in large part due to the high-level play of Aly Khalifa and Igor Milicic.
Second Half Highlights
Davidson came out of the break on a mission; after an Aly Khalifa score the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run taking the lead back. Sanchez was not happy whatsoever after this spurt from Davidson. He was quick to take a timeout and try to get his guys organized.
The Wildcats would continue to extend their lead, extending their scoring run to 21-6 taking a 48-38 lead into the under 12-minute media timeout. Just when the game looked like it was patterning after the UMASS game from a few weeks ago, the 49ers put together a string of stops going on a run themselves tying the game back up at 56 all with 3:42 to play.
The 49ers held Davidson to just 8 points in the final 10:49 of the second half, and regulation would end deadlocked at 59 points apiece.
It was back and forth the entire overtime period. With under a minute to play, Lu’Cye Patterson drove hard to his left, drew contact and went to the line down just one point with a chance to take the lead.
To add to the drama that was this game, Patterson misses both shots. It was the heroics of Igor Milicic avoiding going over the back to tip the ball back out. Threadgill gets his first look at the game-winner, and it was just strong.
Another offensive rebound, this time by Aly Khalifa, gave him a total of 16 for the game. The ball was fumbled around, scooped up on the ground by Patterson, and he was just able to get the ball back out to Threadgill, and the rest is simply history. He would nail the three to walk the game off, if you’re a baseball fan, and give the 49ers the Hornets’ Nest trophy back.
Player of the game
I’ll give out three players of the game awards because you really can’t look at this game and select just one player.
Igor Milicic, Aly Khalifa, and Jackson Threadgill are those three.
Igor posted a career-high 18 points and shot well from the three. Aly Khalifa doing it all as per usual with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 assists. Last but certainly not least, Jackson Threadgill had what were the three most important points of the game. He only totaled five points during the game, but the last three proved to be the sole difference between a win and a loss.
The 49ers will be back home Friday against another in-state rival, the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Be sure to make plans to be inside Halton Arena by 7 p.m. on Friday night.