Photo Credit: Chris Crews
Charlotte looks to get even with the Titans
Detroit Mercy comes to Halton Saturday afternoon for the second game of an in-season home-and-home. The Charlotte 49ers are coming off one of their most exciting weeks of basketball in recent years. A buzzer beater victory at Davidson after an eleven-point comeback, and one of the most improbable comebacks at Halton Arena against App State, possible the earliest I’ve seen a home team be down 23 points with the score being 30-7 eight minutes in.
The Niners once again showed resilience, as they did against Davidson. Montre Gipson had his best showing as a Niner thus far posting 14 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in 29 minutes of work. The hot hand on the other side was sophomore forward Christopher Mantis who came in averaging 5 points per game and finished with 25 shooting 10/15. Through clutch shooting and strong defensive play the Niners cut the lead to 11 by halftime, then imposed their will and absolutely rolled in the second half.
Detroit Mercy has had much of a back-and-forth season with a 5-5 start, having yet to win or lose back-to-back games. They’ve posted impressive wins at home to Charlotte and most recently away to Tulsa, but we’re also blown out by FAU. This is a team that plays well to Charlottes weakness, they don’t particularly guard the three well. We saw it on Thanksgiving eve, they came out shooting and the Niners were down early and never got any rhythm going offensively either. Charlotte lost the game 70-49 , shooting only 34% from the field.
What has to change for a different result this time around?
They must guard the three early and play tight defense on guard Antoine Davis. Davis is 5th in the country in scoring at 23.1 points per game, he took 21 shots against them in November, pacing the Titans with 26 points. Sanchez group must keep the ball moving on offense, we’ve seen in the start of the season when the rock is swinging, buckets are dropping—when it’s not, it leads to bad shots and turnovers. Virginia transfer Igor Miličić Jr. has been fantastic to start the season and I look to him to continue it against Detroit.
At time of this article live odds were not yet posted but ESPN matchup predictor has the Niners as a 78.4% favorite. Single game tickets are still available on the 49ers website for the Saturday matinee tip off at 2pm ET, streaming available on ESPN+.