You’ve read the recap. Now, let’s go inside the numbers of Charlotte’s how-did-they-do-that victory against Florida Atlantic.
- The phrase “a tale of two halves” is so tremendously overused in my circles, and I won’t use it here. We could, however, divide the game into two segments, which would include the first 32 minutes and the final eight.
Charlotte was dominated for much of the first segment of the game. FAU started the game on a 10-2 run and seemingly couldn’t miss for much of the first half. As I mentioned in my game story, the Owls hit 10-of-15 shots to start the game. Even after being slightly slowed, FAU ended the first half shooting 51.9 percent (14-of-27), including 5-of-10 from distance.
FAU hit 9-of-18 shots to start the second half, and was pulling away — again — from Charlotte, before the 49er defense took over. “Kills” (three consecutive defensive stops) are currency in college basketball, and the 49ers recorded two significant kills — three, if you want to be particular — over the final seven minutes and change.
The first came during Charlotte’s 13-0 run. The 49ers actually recorded six defensive stops in a row, including an offensive foul by FAU, a steal, a travel, alternating possession on a loose ball, and a few misses. The Owls went nearly four minutes between baskets in that stretch.
The second came in the final minute of the game. Karlis Silins’ short jumper in the lane wouldn’t fall, then Richardson Maitre had a missed jumper and a missed layup. FAU finished the game hitting four of its final 10 shots, and just a pair of its final six.
- Neither team had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. FAU dished out 12 helpers and committed 13 miscues, while Charlotte dropped 11 dimes and also had 13 turnovers.
- The fans behind me at Charlotte games are a boisterous bunch — which I like, don’t get me wrong — but they exhorted the 49ers to take the ball inside. Charlotte adopted that strategy in the second half, and it paid significant dividends. The biggest bonus Charlotte received from the strategy came at the line. The 49ers enjoyed a 22-to-6 advantage in free throw attempts, making greater than three times as many (16) as the Owls (five). Jahmir Young nearly doubled FAU’s makes on his own, going 9-of-10 from the stripe. Also of note: Charlotte took 18 of its 22 free throw attempts in the second half.
- Charlotte’s Luka Vasic didn’t really jump out on the stat sheet, scoring just five points. He did, however, provide a much-needed athletic boost against FAU’s trio of trees in the paint, finishing plus-16 in just shy of 11 minutes on the court. Sanchez commented about the effort Vasic had been putting in on the practice floor, and it showed Thursday. The 49ers missed Vasic last season, and if they can get him to provide some energy off the bench against some of the talented big guys in the league, it would be a tremendous shot in the arm for the 49ers. I was a bit puzzled as to why he didn’t share much court time with forwards Amidou Bamba or Milos Supica, but he did well to slow Silins and some of FAU’s bigger players.
- Charlotte also adjusted its perimeter defense — with Vasic’s help — and was much better equipped to make up space on passes, contest on the catch, and force Owl misses from beyond the arc in the second half. FAU hit just 4-of-11 from distance in the second half, following a 5-for-10 first half.
- Tempo stats revealed the difference in the halves. FAU tallied 1.046 points per possession on 65 trips, which was slightly down from its 1.063 in the first half. The Owls scored on 44.6 percent of their possessions, turning it over exactly one-fifth of the time. Charlotte, conversely, ended up at 1.077 on its 65 trips (up from .909 in the first half). The 49ers scored 49.2 percent of the time, also turning it over on one-fifth of their trips.
- And, finally, the Hustle Stats:
- Points off turnovers: FAU 17, Charlotte 17
- Points in the paint: Charlotte 30, FAU 26
- Charlotte enjoyed a 20-10 advantage in this category at the half.
- Second-chance points: FAU 4, Charlotte 0
- The teams combined for 5 offensive rebounds. FAU snared three, Charlotte two.
- Fast-break points: Charlotte 11, FAU 8
- Bench points: FAU 17, Charlotte 9
- Vasic tallied five of the nine off the pine for the 49ers. Silins scored nine and Michael Forrest eight to comprise FAU’s 17-point total.
CHARLOTTE 70, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 68
FLORIDA ATLANTIC (12-8, 4-3 C-USA): Sebree 3-4 0-0 6, Ingram 6-12 1-2 14, Zecevic 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor 6-11 0-0 16, Maitre 5-10 2-2 13, Silins 3-6 2-2 9, Forrest 3-5 0-0 8, Blackshear 0-2 0-0 0, Niang 0-1 0-0 0, Robertson 0-1 0-0 0, Kapiti 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 5-6 68.
CHARLOTTE (11-7, 5-2): Bamba 2-2 0-2 4, Young 6-12 9-10 24, Martin 5-8 1-2 12, Shepherd 4-8 5-6 13, Edwards 3-7 1-2 8, Supica 2-3 0-0 4, Robb 0-2 0-0 0, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Vasic 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 24-47 16-22 70.
Halftime —FAU 34-30. 3-Point Goals—FAU 9-21 (Sebree 0-1, Ingram 1-1, Zecevic 0-1, Taylor 4-9, Maitre 1-2, Silins 1-2, Forrest 2-4, Blackshear 0-1), Charlotte 6-20 (Young 3-6, Martin 1-4, Shepherd 0-2, Edwards 1-5, Williams 0-1, Vasic 1-2). Fouled Out — Zecevic (FAU). Rebounds — FAU 25 (Ingram/Maitre 5), Charlotte 25 (Young 7). Assists —FAU 12 (Maitre 5), Charlotte 11 (Shepherd 5). Total Fouls — FAU 19, Charlotte 10. Technical — NA. A —3752.