Charlotte overpowers Northeastern in 86-77 win
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shawn Lester had 20 points and Ben Cherry added 18 as Charlotte overpowered Northeastern in the final 10 minutes to preserve an 86-77 victory in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The win was the 49ers third straight and sets up a championship game matchup with the winner of Florida St. and Michigan on Sunday.
Charlotte led by nine at halftime, but had to stave off a flurry by Northeastern, which tied it back up with less than 10 minutes to play in the game.
The Huskies went cold for a spell from both the foul line and the field, though, and were never able to take the lead back as the 49ers knocked down their free-throws in the closing minutes.
Northeastern's Scott Eatherton had 22 points and 11 rebounds to post his second straight double-double of the tournament. Demetrius Pollard added 14 points.
Trailing by nine at the half, Northeastern kept chipping away at the lead and ran off an 8-0 spurt to tie it 51 at the 12:27 mark.
It was tied again at 58, but Eatherton came up empty on a pair of free-throw attempts.
The Huskies had several more opportunities to take the lead, but squandered each of them with missed baskets or turnovers.
The 49ers got a little breathing room on a 3-pointer by Terrence Williams that made it 65-58, and he scored again a few trips later to push it to 69-60 with only 4:22 showing on the clock.
Charlotte led 43-34 at halftime, thanks largely to its accuracy from beyond the arc. The 49ers connected on 8 of their 14 attempts and led by as many as 13 points. Cherry had the hottest hand, with six 3s and 18 points in the opening 20 minutes.
N.C. Central 76, Appalachian St 70 - OT
DURHAM — Jeremy Ingram scored 36 points, including four free throws in the final 62 seconds, as N.C. Central pulled away from Appalachian St. in overtime for a 76-70 win Friday night.
Appalachian St. erased a 14-point halftime deficit, a four-point deficit in overtime and took a 70-69 lead when Frank Eaves made two free throws with 1:16 to play.
But Ingram was clutch from the line, finishing 18 of 24. Between his final two trips Reggie Groves knocked down a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left that made it 74-70.
Alfonzo Houston added 16 points for N.C. Central (4-1).
Appalachian St. (1-4) got 23 points and 11 rebounds from Tevin Baskin, 16 points from Chris Burgess and Eaves had 14.
Eaves hit a 3-pointer with a minute left in regulation to give the Mountaineers a 63-61 lead. Ingram forced OT with a layup at 10 seconds.
Western Carolina 98, Niagara 90
KENT, Ohio (AP) — Trey Sumler scored a career-high 35 points and led three others in double figures as Western Carolina defeated Niagara 98-90 in a Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic tournament game Friday night
The Catamounts (4-3) won the opening tip and scored on a Kenneth Hall jumper — his only shot of the game. Sumler hit his first four shots and first seven free throws and Western Carolina never trailed. Brandon Boggs scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Mike Brown scored 17 and Rhett Harrelson 12 for Western Carolina.
Niagara (1-3) was led by Antoine Mason's 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting with three 3-pointers. Ramone Snowden and Marcus Ware scored 16 each for the Purple Eagles.
Maryland 68, Marist 43
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Jake Layman scored 16 points, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, as Maryland beat Marist 68-43 in the Paradise Jam on Friday.
Layman had 10 in the first half and was four points shy of a career-high for Maryland (2-2). Charles Mitchell came off the bench and controlled the paint, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Maryland made 54 percent of its shots in the second half, after just 33 percent in the first.
Chavaughn Lewis led Marist (0-5) with 13 points, but was 4 of 13 from the field. Marist was held to 26 percent shooting in the game.
Maryland led 26-20 at the half, but held Marist to without a field goal for over eight minutes in the second half.
Maryland advances to play Northern Iowa on Sunday, after they beat Loyola Marymount earlier.