Charlotte (9-0) at Miami-Florida (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 14, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: BankUnited Center (7,200) -- Coral Gables, Florida. Television: RSN, FSN-S, ESPN 3. Home Record: Charlotte 5-0, Miami 4-0. Away Record: Charlotte 1-0, Miami 1-1. Neutral Record: Charlotte 3-0, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: Charlotte 0-0, Miami 0-0. Series Record: Charlotte leads, 4-3.
GAME NOTES: The Charlotte 49ers put their perfect record on the line when they pull into the Sunshine State for Friday night's non-conference clash with the Miami-Florida Hurricanes.
Charlotte is off to an 9-0 start for the first time in school history. The 49ers are coming off a 78-66 decision over the Central Michigan Chippewas last Saturday. Coach Alan Major guided the team through the Great Alaska Shootout and also to a impressive wins over regional rivals East Carolina and Davidson. Charlotte is netting 71.4 ppg this season while holding its opponents to 60.0 ppg on 36.1 percent shooting from the field.
Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes should be well rested as they have not been in action since Dec. 1 when they downed Massachusetts by 13 points on the road. Miami enters on a four-game win streak which includes home decisions over Detroit and Michigan State. The Hurricanes' only setback of the season came early on when they were upset by Florida Gulf Coast (63-51) on the road in a game they played without Durand Scott. Miami has been held under 50 percent shooting just once in its four home tilts.
Although Miami defeated the 49ers, 76-61, on Dec. 22, 2011, Charlotte holds a 4-3 all-time series lead.
The 49ers showed why they are undefeated as they registered 23 assists on 30 baskets and scored 42 points in the paint to cruise past the Chippewas last Saturday. DeMario Mayfield led the team with 15 points, which was his fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season. Denzel Ingram added 13 points while Willie Clayton finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Chris Braswell, who exemplifies the team's unselfish nature by coming off the bench, scored eight points and pulled down a dozen boards. Braswell paces the team with 14.3 points and seven rebounds per contest. Mayfield chips in with 10 ppg, while five others net more than seven points per outing.
Miami, which averages 71.7 ppg, has five players sporting double-digit scoring averages this season. Sophomore guard Shane Larkin (16.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.7 spg) has scored at least 13 points each time out. Scott has tallied 15 points in three straight games and Trey McKinney Jones (12 ppg, 46.2 percent 3PT) is providing a sniper-like threat from the perimeter when he is on the floor. Up front, forward Kenny Kadji (10.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is playing well next to the overpowering Reggie Johnson, who registered his 17th career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds at UMass. The 6-foot-10, 292-pound center, who is averaging a double-double with 12.8 points and 10.8 boards per contest, also had six blocks versus the Minutemen.
A win over the Hurricanes could propel the 49ers into the Top-25, but it will not be easy. Braswell is going to face some tough interior defenders in this one, which will require some of the other 49ers to pick up the slack at the offensive end. Sophomore point guard Pierria Henry is not an overwhelming scorer, but he has proven to be clutch on multiple occasions already this season. The Hurricanes' guards need to force shots from the perimeter for the team to have any shot at staying perfect at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Charlotte 71, Miami-Florida 68
12/14 10:35:52 ET