Spears scores 26 in win
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. ó Shamari Spears scored 26 points and freshman Chris Braswell converted a three-point play to open a critical run that led Charlotte to an 80-72 win against Hofstra on Tuesday.
The 49ers trailed at the half but regained the lead on Braswell’s three-point play, which started an 8-0 run.
Spears, a former Salisbury High standout, enjoyed his fourth straight game of 20 or more points. Braswell had a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds), and Derrio Green contributed 12 points for the 49ers (4-1).
Braswell’s double-double was the second of his young career. He had 13 points and eight rebounds in the second half.
“In the second half I needed to step up my role,” Braswell said. “The coaches told me I needed to hit the boards and to look for Shamari and play off Shamari. Coach says I can pass great ó and I look for Shamari or Derrio in the corner.”
Spears was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He finished 9-for-13 from the field and went 7 of 8 from the line.
“He just scores the ball,” Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. “And he’s such an offensive threat that he opens things up. Chris took advantage of that. We can benefit from the focus teams put on Shamari, and today Chris did.”
Spears had four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. Freshman forward K.J. Sherrill (West Rowan) recorded one block and one rebound in six minutes off the bench.
With the win, Charlotte improves to 4-1 for the first time since 2000-01, when it started 6-1 on the way to the NCAA tournament. The 49ers return home after going 3-1 on the road in the NIT Season Tip-Off to play host to East Carolina on Dec. 2.