ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville men’s basketball team will finish its eight-game road trip to end the season at Charlotte Sunday evening when the Bulldogs take on the 5-1 49ers at Halton Arena starting at 6 p.m.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast locally on WWNC Radio (570-AM) starting with the pre-game show at 5:30 p.m. The game can also be heard via audio-streaming at uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (1-6) last played in the third and fourth rounds of the NIT Tip-Off at Rhode Island Monday and Tuesday. The Bulldogs fell to host Rhode Island Monday night, 73-56 before losing to 6-1 East Carolina on Tuesday, 81-70. In the loss to the Pirates, Asheville rallied from a 20-point deficit and cut it to seven points late in the game before ECU hit some late free throws to hold off the Bulldogs.
Nick McDevitt’s club has had to deal with a lot of injuries so far this season. Red-shirt senior center D.J. Cunningham missed the last two games with a knee injury and is questionable for Charlotte. Junior guard Corey Littlejohn did not play against East Carolina due to an ankle injury and is expected back against the 49ers.
Charlotte just won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off last week in San Juan. The 49ers edged Michigan, 62-60 last Sunday night to win the title.
“We’ve got a tough task with Charlotte,” stated McDevitt. “They have an outstanding team and are playing quite well. We’ll have to play extremely well to have a chance.
“Our effort was very good in both games in Rhode Island,” added McDevitt. “With all the injuries we’ve had, we had to play some of our guys in different roles without a lot of time preparing them to play those roles. We just need to keep working hard to get better with each game.”
The Bulldogs will be off for exams after the Charlotte contest and finally get to play their first home game at Kimmel Arena on Dec. 12 when they host Bluefield. The contest with Bluefield will start a stretch of Asheville playing at home. McDevitt’s club will play five home games at Kimmel and just one road contest.”
Freshman guard Andrew Rowsey leads the Bulldogs in scoring with a 15.1 per game average. Senior forward Jaron Lane is averaging 10.7 points per game, while Sam Hughes is averaging 10.1 points per outing. Hughes scored a career-high 21 points against East Carolina on Tuesday.
Asheville and Charlotte played a memorable game last year at Halton Arena as the 49ers edged the Dogs in overtime, 71-63.
Charlotte has won the last eight meetings between the teams and has a 9-4 advantage in the series.
Asheville is 1-6 for the second straight year but recovered last season to finish with a 16-16 overall record.
The Bulldogs have lost six games with their opponents have a combined record of 34-11.
The teams have one common opponent this year and both figure prominently in each team’s season. Charlotte lost at the buzzer at College of Charleston, 82-81, while the Bulldogs only victory this year was a win at Charleston three days later, 67-58 in overtime.
Jaron Lane has scored in double figure in three straight games and four of the last five contests.
D.J. Cunningham needs one more rebound to reach 600 for his career.
Andrew Rowsey was named Big South Rookie of the Week on Nov. 18 after scoring 24 points at Western Carolina (Nov. 11) and 23 at College of Charleston (Nov. 15).
With injuries, Asheville has had to use three different line-ups in the past three games.