FATIGUED: Horned Frogs lose ‘battle of attrition’ against Charlotte

FATIGUED: Horned Frogs lose ‘battle of attrition’ against Charlotte

For the first 40 minutes, the Horned Frogs and Charlotte 49ers were caught in a constant seesaw affair, with the two teams combining for 17 ties and 16 lead changes in their first ever meeting Wednesday night.

Once regulation ended, though, the 49ers struck gold in overtime.

Behind a career-high scoring night from junior guard Brendon Plavich, who scored 31 points on nine 3-pointers, and sophomore forward Curtis Withers’ 21 points and seven rebounds, the 49ers outscored the Frogs 13-5 in overtime, giving Charlotte the 94-86 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

“I hit my shots early on and my guys did a good job of finding me after that,” Plavich said. “I just felt good tonight.”

Plavich credited his point guard Demon Brown’s ability to share the ball and his teammates’ screens for his career night.

“Our team’s unselfish and that says a lot tonight when I have nine 3s and guys are setting screens all night long.”

The game was decided behind the arc, where the 49ers shot 39 percent compared to the Frogs’ 26 percent.

Junior guard Corey Santee said the 49ers took advantage of some sloppy Frogs’ play in the extra five minutes and that he attributed the poor overtime performance, where they committed five turnovers, to fatigue and foul trouble.

Junior guard Marcus Shropshire fouled out with 5:26 remaining in regulation, and then junior forward Aaron Curtis did the same in overtime.

“We were low on energy,” said Santee, who scored 20 points and dished out five assists. “We lost a couple of our key players and some of the players, myself included, were tired. I know I was fatigued.”

Santee said the team felt they could take advantage of the extra period but that Charlotte just wanted it more.

“They played harder than us in overtime,” he said. “We should have pulled it out but they were scrappier than us. We had our chance but we let it slip through our hands.”
The Frogs out-rebounded a bigger 49ers’ team 47-41, including a 19-15 edge on the offensive glass.

Head coach Neil Dougherty agreed with Santee that the team was tired in overtime.
“Some of our fatigue showed up,” Dougherty said. “We played with a lot of heart and courage. They were just deeper than us and we had some guys sucking wind. We got beaten by a better team tonight.”

Aside from Santee, three other Frogs scored in double-digits. Sophomore forward Chudi Chinweze scored 14, freshman center Femi Ibikunle added 10 and Shropshire had 12 points.

Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz said he was happy to get out of Fort Worth with an overtime victory against an underrated TCU team, the 49ers’ third road win in overtime this season.

“We beat a very good team,” he said. “I don’t care what their record is, they’re a very good team. They played us as good as anyone this year. I think they can play with anyone.”

Lutz said his team was able to pull out the overtime victory because the Frogs ran out of players down the stretch.

“They got a little tired in overtime and had a few guys foul out,” Lutz said. “That’s what happens in overtime, it’s a battle of attrition.”

Dougherty said despite the game’s outcome, he was pleased with how his players overcame foul trouble.

“We feel unlucky and Charlotte feels real lucky tonight as far as I am concerned,” he said.