CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- After Charlotte built a solid lead, Eddie
Basden was determined not to see it disappear.
The 49ers built a 19-point lead early in the second half, only
to see East Carolina whittle it down to eight with 4:26 left. The
49ers' Chris Nance was assessed a technical and ejected with 3:12
remaining for pushing Corey Rouse in the face while both struggled
for a loose ball under the Pirates' basket.
Cook hit one of two free throws to cut the Pirates' deficit to
Basden gathered his teammates under Charlotte's basket.
"I told them we needed to regain our composure. They had made
their run and now it was time for us get a run back, and as you
see, we made that happen," Basden said.
The 49ers went on to outscore the Pirates 10-5 to close the
game, including going five-of-six from the free-throw line in a
72-60 victory Saturday in their Conference USA opener.
Basden scored 18 points and had eight rebounds.
The win was the seventh consecutive one for the 49ers (10-2,
1-0), making a streak that was Charlotte's best since winning seven
straight in the 2001-2002 season.
Curtis Withers had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Mitchell
Baldwin added 12 points for the 49ers.
Mike Cook led the Pirates with 22 points in his team's second
loss in a row.
The Pirates (5-9, 0-2) had an 18-12 lead with 11:54 remaining in
the first half, then Charlotte scored six straight to tie the game
and built a 39-26 halftime lead.
"We had chances to put them away, and we didn't and they kept
fighting," said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz. "Fortunately we
rallied back and made some big plays."