College Basketball Roundup: Spears, Sherrill shine for Charlotte

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 12, 2009

Associated Press
The regional roundup …
CHARLOTTE√≥ Bobby Lutz was talking about the most troublesome aspect of his team, moments after Charlotte’s 95-66 victory over Gardner-Webb on Saturday.
His dilemma is one most coaches would covet.
So many players are playing so well, Charlotte’s coach is having trouble finding playing time for everyone.
Dijuan Harris had 13 points and added six assists, leading six double figure scorers. Shamari Spears (Salisbury) also scored 13 for the 49ers, while Chris Braswell and Shamarr Bowden added 11 each and An’Juan Wilderness and K.J. Sherrill (West Rowan) each scored 10 points.
“It’s a luxury to have so many guys contribute,” Harris said. “Everybody should be happy when we’re winning.”
The 49ers used a decided height advantage to get easy baskets inside early. When the Bulldogs collapsed on the Charlotte big men, Bowden connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, helping Charlotte pull away, even with three backups in the game.
“In the first half, when K.J. came in and we went to the full-court press, we took a lead and extended it,” Lutz said.
There was little noticeable different between Lutz’s first and second units.
“I don’t really care who starts,” he said. “I’m extremely pleased with our depth and our unselfishness.”
“It’s a challenge,” he said. “You wouldn’t want them to be on your team if they didn’t want to play, and play a lot. Yet, we’re telling them to practice hard every day, then cheer for their teammates even if they’re not playing.”
More games like Saturday’s victory could help solve the dilemma, as the 49ers (8-1) connected on 12 of their first 16 shots to jump out to a big early lead and were not seriously challenged en route to their sixth straight victory. The win streak is the longest for the program since a seven-game run in 2005 and the 8-1 start is the best since the 1991-92 team was 11-1.
The Bulldogs (3-4) struggled for much of the game, especially leading scorer Grayson Flittner, who was held scoreless. Even with the struggles, Gardner-Webb coach Rick Scruggs thought his team might be poised to make a run at the start of the second half.
It never happened.
“We thought we had some momentum at halftime,” Scruggs said. “But Charlotte just came out with a great run.”
The 49ers opened the second half like they opened the game, scoring easy baskets and forcing turnovers. In the first 2 minutes of the second half, Charlotte turned a 50-36 halftime advantage into a 59-39 lead. The lead swelled to 30 with 16:08 remaining in the game.
“It was a really terrific team win,” Lutz said. “We got contributions from so many guys. I’m extremely pleased with our depth and with our unselfishness.”
Scruggs said his team was simply outmanned.
“They’re no fluke,” Scruggs said. “Charlotte had too much for us, inside and outside. They’re going to give a lot of people a lot of trouble.”
No. 21 Gonzaga 103, Davidson 91
SEATTLE ó Elias Harris. Robert Sacre. Demetri Goodson. Steven Gray. Heck, seemingly every Gonzaga player dating back to John Stockton.
That how deep the Bulldogs went to show how great life can still be without their scoring star. It’s something Davidson can only dream of right now.
Harris scored a season-high 27 points, Sacre and Goodson added their own career bests of 23 and 22 points, and No. 21 Gonzaga overcame the absence of injured leading scorer Matt Bouldin to race past Davidson 103-91.
“He’s been phenomenal. We’ve been depending on him quite a lot,” a chuckling Gray said of Bouldin, who is averaging 16.8 points but watched in a pink shirt and tie as the Bulldogs (8-2) won for the first time in four tries in their annual game across the state in Seattle.
Bouldin was cracked just below the temple by an opponent’s forehead on Wednesday and said he was knocked out briefly early in the win over Division III Augustana. Trainers determined the senior should stay out Saturday to prepare for semester finals and then another huge test: No. 8 Duke in Madison Square Garden next weekend.
Freshman Jake Cohen scored 16 points and Brendan McKillop tied his career-high with 15 on five 3-pointers for Davidson (2-7), which was 85-20 in three seasons with star sharpshooter Stephen Curry before he left a year early for the NBA last summer.