Charlotte Opens A-10 Season in Pittsburgh

This story contains excerpts from Charlotte's pregame press release for Wednesday night's matchup against Duquesne. Sophomores Charles Dewhurst (knee) and An'Juan Wilder (foot) are not expected to be available.

Complete release in .pdf format


ATLANTIC 10 OPENER
Charlotte 49ers (5-7; 0-0) at Duquesne (9-4; 0-0)
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009; 7:00 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh, Pa. Palumbo Center (5,358)

THE GAME

The Charlotte 49ers (5-7) travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., to take on Duquesne (9-4) in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams. Charlotte has won four of its last five games, but will be without sophomore Charles Dewhurst and likely without sophomore An'Juan Wilderness.

Wilderness (doubtful) has been sidelined with a stress fracture in his left foot for the last two games and is not expected to return until Saturday vs. Tulsa. Dewhurst (out), who replaced Wilderness in the starting lineup, suffered a dislocated knee vs. Maryland, Saturday and is out for the season. He will have surgery Friday for both a torn MCL and torn ACL.

WHO'S HOT

  • RaShad Coleman has scored in double figures in each of the last four games with a career-best 21 at Maryland. He is averaging 14.5 points and shooting .548 from the floor and .400 from long range over the last four games.
  • DiJuan Harris has scored in double digits in each of the last four and five of the last six games. He is averaging 14.8 points and 7.3 assists over the last four games, while shooting .548 from the field and .545 from the three-point range.
  • Over the last three games, Charlie Coley is averaging 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting .593 (16-of-27).

LAST GAME

The 49ers raced to an early 18-7 lead and still held a three-point edge at halftime, but Maryland's 16-0 run in the second half carried the Terrapins to an 85-75 win. The run immediately followed a severe knee injury to 49ers sophomore Charles Dewhurst that left the 49ers reeling. Dewhurst, who had six points and four boards, landed awkwardly after his driving layup tied the score. RaShad Coleman led Charlotte with a career-best 21 points and DiJuan Harris added 15 to mark his fourth straight game in double figures. The loss snapped the 49ers four-game win streak.

    Last Year
    Charlotte W, 89-82 at Charlotte ... Leemire Goldwire scored 21 to lead four 49ers in double figures. Lamont Mack added 19, Charlie Coley scored a career-high 16 and Ian Andersen added 13. Goldwire had five steals and Coley 3 of Charlotte's 12 thefts.

    Series
    Charlotte leads 5-1 and is 3-0 since joining the A-10. The 49ers are 2-1 in Pittsburgh. Each of the last three wins were decided by less than 10 pts.

    RPI
    Charlotte 191; Duquesne 129

    A-10 Preseason Pick
    Charlotte 5; Duquesne 12

    Of note
    The 49ers are 2-1 in A-10 openers and 1- 2 in the first A-10 road game of the year ... Charlotte started A-10 play 2-0 last year, but lost at UMass in their first A-10 road game ...The 49ers lone loss to Duquesne came in the 1994 NIT

    Injury update
    Charles Dewhurst, out (knee); An'Juan Wilderness, doubtful (foot)

HARRIS TAKING THE LEAD

For the second straight year, DiJuan Harris is atop the Atlantic 10 in A-TO ratio, keyed by a recent 10 assist, 0 turnover outing vs. Long Island. But Harris has morphed into more than a pure pass first point guard. He has scored in double figures in five of the last six games and each of the last four. He scored a career-high 20 points vs. Youngstown State, notched his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 assists vs. Long Island and added 15 points with six assists and just one turnover at Maryland. In the last two games, he has scored 14.0 points with 16 assists and one turnover.

LOOKING AHEAD - LUTZ'S 600TH CAREER GAME

The 49ers return home to face Tulsa, Jan. 10 (4 p.m.) in non-conference action. The Tulsa game will be the 600th game of Bobby Lutz's 20-year coaching career: He owns a .625 career winning percentage (overall coaching record: 374-224). Tulsa, which won the inaugural College Basketball Invitational post season tournament in 2008, is the 8th non-conference opponent that competed in the 2008 post-season.

NINER NUGGETS

  • OPENING A-10 PLAY: Lutz owns a 27-21 all-time coaching record (.563) in A-10 play.
  • BALANCE: Four 49ers are averaging in double figures, five 49ers have scored 15 or more points three times or more, six have led the 49ers in scoring at least once and eight have scored in double figures at least once.
  • MEN OF STEAL: Charlotte is averaging 17.5 forced turnovers and 7.4 steals with at least six steals in all but two games. The 49ers have forced more turnovers than the opponent in eight games. Senior Charlie Coley leads the 49ers with 22 steals (1.8 game) while DiJuan Harris has 21 (1.8/game). Sophomore Charles Dewhurst has 12 steals (1.0/game) giving Charlotte three players with at least one steal per game. Last year, Charlotte had 271 steals (7.97/gm) and forced 574 turnovers (16.9/gm), the most in both categories since 1991, when the 49ers set school records with 363 steals and 649 turnovers forced.
  • CENTURY MARK: On Gaby Ngoundjo's first points of the season, Charlotte scored 100 points in its 100-80 victory over Youngstown State, the first time in four years that the 49ers have reached triple digits and the first time in four years that six players scored in double figures in the same game. Charlotte shot .612 from the floor.
  • BENCHED: The bench is averaging 23.9 points and a player has come off the bench to score in double figures in eight games. The 49ers bench has scored 20 or more points in nine games this year, with three games of 30 or more: 33 vs. Clemson, 32 vs. Youngstown State and 30 vs. Cal- State Fullerton. Sixth-man Ian Andersen has come off the bench to score in double figures a team-high five times, including a game-high 18 in the win over Southern Illinois and a 21-point effort vs. Clemson. Last year, the 49ers bench averaged 18.7 points.


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