You’ve read the recap.  Now, go with us Inside the Numbers of Charlotte’s win Monday evening against Valparaiso.

  • Charlotte’s scout for this game was on point. 49ers coach Ron Sanchez credited assistant Vic Sfera in the post-game media availability for his work on the scout, but it was clear that the work put in by the assistants and players paid significant dividends.

Two things stood out as large results from that prep work:

    • The 49ers limited the Crusaders to their lowest point total of the season. Valpo’s prior low in any game was 59 points against Nevada, and the 49ers surrendered just 57 Monday. Valpo managed just three baskets in the game’s final 7:44, allowing Charlotte to keep it at arm’s length and depart the Halton Arena deck with a much-needed non-league win.
    • Valpo came into the game plus-3 (roughly) in turnover margin, averaging 14 or so turnovers per game in its first nine, while forcing 17. Charlotte ended up plus-6 on the night (19-13), with Valpo actually having more turnovers than points for nearly the first two segments of the game. 11 of those turnovers occurred in the first half. Charlotte, meanwhile, committed just five miscues in the first half, despite a few slight struggles in the closing 20.

“For us, defensive rebounding, transition baskets, and taking care of the ball…those are three areas that, regardless of the opponent, are areas that we have to be really, really good at, if we want to have a chance to be competitive. That’s something that we emphasize every day, something that we teach every day, and it’s definitely an Achilles’ (heel) for us. We have to continue to work on it. The moment that we dismiss it, we’ll go back to it. (Guard) Jordan (Shepherd) will tell you (that) our ball handling is something that we emphasize, from the start of practice all the way until the end. We try to eliminate losing in those areas as often as we can.” – Sanchez

  • Free throws were a huge factor in the contest. Charlotte shot 27 times from the charity stripe, hitting 19 (70.4 percent). 18 of those tries came in the second half, with a decent number coming late in an attempt to salt away the result. The combination of Valpo being more of a “four-out, one-in”, perimeter-oriented club and Charlotte compressing the paint and shutting off straight-line drives resulted in the Crusaders going to the line just four times. Just one of those free throws found the mark.
  • We spoke in the main game story about Charlotte’s success at defending the three-ball in the second half. Without Sanchez going into specifics in the presser, it seemed that the 49ers were much more effective at switching in the second half, and were more adept at high-hand contesting on the catch. As a result, Valpo hit just 2-of-11 from distance in the second half.
  • One odd number centered around assists. Valpo dished out 17 helpers on 24 makes, while Charlotte assisted on just six of 22 baskets. The 49er offense got stagnant at times, but that was largely covered by the overall lack of shots they attempted. Charlotte tried just 15 second-half shots, so while there was not much in terms of quantity, the quality had to have been to the liking of Sanchez and his staff, on the whole.
  • Finally, the Hustle Stats:
    • Points in the Paint:  Charlotte 30, Valparaiso 28
    • Points off Turnovers:  Charlotte 22, Valparaiso 12
    • Second-Chance Points:  Valparaiso 11, Charlotte 10
    • Fast-Break Points:  Valparaiso 4, Charlotte 0
    • Bench Points:  Valparaiso 20, Charlotte 6


VALPARAISO (6-5): McMillan 4-7 1-1 9, Freeman-Liberty 7-18 0-2 17, Sackey 0-3 0-1 0, Clay 4-10 0-0 11, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0, Gordon 3-6 0-0 7, Krikke 2-3 0-0 0, Kiser 4-6 0-0 9. Totals 24-53 1-4 57.

CHARLOTTE (5-4): Bamba 4-6 2-5 10, Young 4-7 5-7 14, Martin 2-4 2-2 7, Shepherd 9-14 8-8 27, Edwards 1-6 1-2 3, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Supica 1-3 0-1 2, Robb 1-3 1-2 4. Totals 22-44 19-27 67.

Halftime — Charlotte 35-30. 3-Point Goals—Valparaiso 8-23 (McMillan 0-2, Freeman-Liberty 3-10, Clay 3-5, Gordon 1-4, Kiser 1-2), Charlotte 4-9 (Young 1-1, Martin 1-1, Shepherd 1-3, Edwards 0-1, Robb 1-3). Fouled Out —Kiser (VU). Rebounds — Valparaiso 29 (Kiser 7), Charlotte 28 (Young 8). Assists —Valparaiso 17 (Sackey 5), Charlotte 6 (Shepherd 2). Total Fouls — Valparaiso 20, Charlotte 9. Technical — NA. A —2740.