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January 9, 2010

Niners hold off Bonnies

In a game that featured blood and sweat the Charlotte 49ers halted a two game losing streak as they hung on to a 57-54 victory to deny St. Bonaventure their first true road win of the season.

It was the first Atlantic 10 game of the season for the Niners (11-4, 1-0) and they did not waste anytime to take the lead.

Derrio Green's 3-pointer put the Niners up 21-9 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half.

With Chris Braswell and DiJuan Harris in foul trouble the Bonnies (7-8, 0-2) responded with nine straight points and trailed 26-22 at the half.

After Harris scored the first bucket of the second half the Bonnies scored seven straight points capped by Ogo Adegboye's second 3-pointer to take a 29-28 lead with 17:37 remaining in the game. It was the first lead for the Bonnies since Chris Matthews basket off the opening tip.

On the ensuing possession Harris drove down the left lane and was fouled hard by Adegboye.

Harris laid on the ground with his hands covering his head while he kicked the floor in pain and when he rose up it was revealed that he had a bloody left eye. He would go to the locker room and get five stitches on his left brow.

Green scored six straight points following Harris exiting the game to give the Niners a 34-29 lead.

The Bonnies answered by scoring nine of the next 13 points capped by Adegboye's third 3-pointer of the night to take a 43-39 lead with 11 minutes remaining.

Harris returned to the game with 10:55 remaining and the Niners went on a 13-2 run over the next 6 minutes and 55 seconds. Shamari Spears hit two free throws to give the Niners a 52-45 lead with four minutes remaining.

"It scared me to see all the blood rushing from my face," Harris said after the game. At first I was like I don't know if I'm coming back but once I got to the doctor he said that I was just cut open. I told him to stitch me up and get me back as soon as he could."

Once again the Bonnies responded as Marquise Simmons pulled the Bonnies within one on a dunk from Matthews steal of Green with 45.7 seconds remaining.

The Niners would go empty on the next offensive possession as Green's jumper fell short.

With 7.3 seconds remaining the Bonnies called a play to get Jonathan Hall the ball in the open court. He drove right and Niner freshman Chris Braswell drew a charge with three seconds remaining.

Charles Dewhurst would hit two free throws and Andrew Nicholson's half court shot went right to give the Niners the victory.

"This is how this league is going to be night in and night out," said Niner Head Coach Bobby Lutz on the physical nature of this particular game. "We hung in there and made enough winning plays."

The Niners overcame shooting 32.7 percent from the field by capitalizing off of Bonnie mistakes. The Niners scored 25 points off of 18 Bonnie turnovers.

Spears led all scorers with 18 points and he tied a season high with nine rebounds. Green scored 14 points while Braswell added nine points and 14 rebounds. Harris finished with four points and two assists.

Matthews led the Bonnies with 17 points while Nicholson had eight points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks. They shot 46.4 percent from the field and 60 percent from beyond the arc in the second half.

"It was two teams going at each other," said Bonnie Head Coach Mark Schmidt. "I thought we held our own but we fell short."

The Niners are off until Wednesday when the travel north to Cincinnati to take on Xavier at the Cintas Center.


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