PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Lu’Cye Patterson scored a game-high 22 points, reaching 1,000 career points en route to Charlotte Men’s Basketball (15-8, 9-2 AAC) earning its first-ever win, 73-70, at Temple (8-16, 1-10) in Philadelphia, Pa., Sunday afternoon.
The Niners had never won in their previous six attempts at Temple but finally prevailed Sunday. With 5:34 remaining, the Niners held a 14-point, 63-49 lead but Temple cut the deficit to 70-68 with only 31 seconds remaining. Even though Charlotte never trailed in the game, the Owls had a chance to send the game into overtime but could not connect on the game-tying three-pointer as the final buzzer sounded.
“They [Temple] play really hard to the very end… That’s why they were able to hang around and you got to be really tough, we spoke about it pregame that we were going to have to do that stuff really well and it came down to a final shot,” said Charlotte Head Coach Aaron Fearne.
The Owls took 15 more shot attempts (60) than the Niners (45) but Charlotte made up that difference with 29 free throws, making 21, compared to Temple making 9-of-12 free throws. Charlotte took 27 free throws after only attempting two in the first half.
“As they always say, any road win is a good one, but there will be a lot of things out of this that we are just not good enough with right now,” said Coach Fearne.
Patterson shot 6-of-12 from the field and three-of-five from deep, while also making all seven of his free throws. He was a point away from tying his career-high, but he will settle with 1,000-plus career points. He has scored 699 points in a 49ers jersey.
“It feels good, all credit to my teammates finding me over the years and it feels good to complete that milestone. The next milestone is to win the American Conference Championship and get to the NCAA Tournament,” said Patterson on his achievement.
Dishon Jackson recorded his first double-double as a 49er (and second career double-double) with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He made seven of 10 field goals. Igor Milicic Jr. also turned in a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, his eighth such game of the season. It was the first time since the 2021-22 season that two Niners recorded double-doubles in the same game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A 7-0 run by Temple cut the deficit from 65-52 to 65-59 with three minutes left, and then the Owls cut the Niners’ lead even further, whittling the game from 70-62 with two minutes remaining to 70-68 with 31 seconds on the clock. Trailing 73-70, the Owls’ best three-point shooter curled off a screen and rose up for the triple, but Jackson Threadgill was there with a great contest to avoid overtime.
An 11-0 run ballooned the Niners’ advantage from 52-49 to 63-49 with 5:34 remaining, the largest lead of the day. Charlotte converted three straight three-point plays with Patterson and Jackson earning a pair of and-ones, and Threadgill knocking down three free throws after getting fouled on an attempt from long range. Threadgill’s makes gave Charlotte the 14-point lead.
Threadgill was clutch in the second half as earlier in the frame, he delivered consecutive three-pointers when the Owls were closing the gap. The Niners were clinging onto a slight, 46-45 lead with 10 minutes remaining before the Concord, N.C. native knocked down a pair of triples. The second three put the Niners ahead, 52-47.
Patterson was on fire from the opening tip, making his first two attempts from downtown and then earning a steal and assisting on a Jackson basket to give Charlotte an early 8-3 lead in Philadelphia.
Robert Braswell IV also had a pair of triples in the first half. His first three was in transition as Milicic Jr. corralled the defensive rebound and passed ahead to Isaiah Folkes, who continued pushing the pace before finding Braswell IV for the 21-15 advantage. His second three, which gave Charlotte a 28-25 lead late in the period, was set up by a good pass from Nik Graves and a solid screen from Milicic Jr.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Patterson’s halftime buzzer-beater from beyond half court gave Charlotte a 33-29 lead and the Minneapolis, Minn. native his 1000th career point in college.
This was Charlotte’s fifth wire-to-wire victory in AAC action.
The Niners held on for the win despite not scoring a field goal in the final 6:15.
Jackson on his first double-double since December 1, 2021: “It feels good man, all praise to my God, I appreciate my teammates putting me into position and just being more aggressive, going after rebounds. I think that’s what really helped [in this win].”
The lineup of Jackson, Folkes, Graves, Patterson, and Milicic move to 9-1 as a starting five.
Graves finished with seven points and three assists. Folkes only attempted one field goal but he led the team with four assists.
Threadgill (nine points) and Braswell IV (six) scored all 15 of the Niners’ bench points.
Charlotte committed 12 turnovers and allowed 14 points off those miscues to Temple. 12 turnovers are the most for the Niners since December 16, 2023. “It was just simple passing and catching that really let us down and allowed them to get out and get some easy ones,” Coach Fearne said. “We were not sharp enough with it when we really needed to.”
Charlotte returns home to host UTSA at Halton Arena on Thursday, February 15. The Niners and the Roadrunners tipoff on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. The two schools faced off earlier on January 13 with Charlotte defeating UTSA, 66-58, in San Antonio, Texas.