Jahmir Young scored 15 and Syracuse transfer Robert Braswell added 14 Saturday as the Charlotte 49ers turned back the energetic but short-handed UTSA Roadrunners, 62-53.
Young, the leading scorer in Conference USA, hit only 4 of 13 shots from the field.
But with a well-rounded game, he helped to hand the Roadrunners their fourth straight loss with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
In a road game for UTSA played at Charlotte’s Halton Arena, only a few fans turned out due to impending bad weather and the Covid-19 threat.
The Roadrunners, playing without three starters, seemed to take advantage of the lack of energy in the building by erasing most of a 19-point deficit.
Down 32-13 early, they came back to pull within 42-37 with 10 minutes left.
In the end, without Jordan Ivy-Curry, Cedrick Alley Jr. and Dhieu Deing, they didn’t have enough firepower to sustain the momentum.
Deing (pro ball aspirations) and Alley (academics) are no longer with the team. They won’t be back this season. Ivy-Curry (Covid protocols) could return next week.
UTSA was concerned coming in that Charlotte’s offensive style, with cuts and back-cuts, would pose a problem.
While the 49ers didn’t hit a high percentage of shots from the field (34.7 percent), they did force their way to the free-throw line, where they hit 20 of 24, including 14 of 18 in the second half.
Another problem for the Roadrunners centered around decisions they made with the ball when they had it close to the basket.
A 13-1 lead for UTSA in second-chance points likely could have been an even wider margin, given a massive 19-5 edge in offensive rebounding for the Roadrunners.
Looking back, the Roadrunners probably wished they had either taken the ball stronger to the basket on the put-back attempts, or they should have dribbled out and re-started the possession.
UTSA 7-11, 0-5
Charlotte 9-5, 2-0
The Roadrunners were scheduled to return to San Antonio Saturday night. In coming days, they’ll begin preparations for a road game at UTEP on Thursday of next week.
Jan. 20 — UTSA at UTEP, 8 p.m.
Jan. 23 — UTEP at UTSA, 3 p.m.
Jan. 27 — FIU at UTSA, 7 p.m.
Jan. 29 — FAU at UTSA, 1 p.m.
UTSA forward Aleu Aleu apparently suffered an injury in the first half and didn’t return.
The Roadrunners shot 29.4 percent from the field (20 of 68). From three-point distance, they hit only 12.5 percent (2 of 16). Christian Tucker emerged as UTSA’s leading scorer with 10 points. Without the team’s other primary scoring threats on the floor, junior center Jacob Germany faced traps and double teams most of the afternoon, and as a result he hit only 2 of 9 shots.
Freshman Lamin Sabally and sophomore Lachlan Bofinger supplied good energy when they were on the floor. Sabally scored six points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Bofinger had six points and nine rebounds.