Charlotte 94, TCU 87

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Charlotte 49ers rely on Eddie Basden
for defense. His sudden scoring streak is an added bonus.

Basden scored 22 points to lead Charlotte to a 94-87 victory
over TCU on Wednesday night.

"Eddie was Eddie," said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz. "He is
scoring with confidence. He is a senior and playing as we expect
him to play, maybe even better. The last two games, he is playing

Basden was 8-for-12 and made a trio of 3-pointers in a follow-up
to the season-high 23 points he scored at Marquette on Saturday.

"The first couple of years I was a role player," Basden said.
"Now that I am a senior, a little bit more weight is on my
shoulders and I am stepping up to the plate."

E.J. Drayton scored 20 points for Charlotte (14-3, 5-1
Conference USA) and Curtis Withers added 16.

Marcus Shropshire scored 21 points to lead TCU (13-7, 3-3).
Corey Santee had 19, Nile Murry scored 15 and Judson Stubbs had 14.

But the Horned Frogs relied too heavily on 3-pointers, shooting
15-of-35 for the game while allowing Charlotte to build several
large leads. Shooting from the outside the entire game prevented
TCU from getting to the foul line, as well. TCU attempted just
eight free throws, compared to 32 for Charlotte.

Charlotte made seven of nine free throws in the final minute to
seal the win.

"I was really proud that we were able to hold on and win,"
Lutz said.

The 49ers started the night in a four-way tie for first place in
the league. In the midst of one of their best seasons in almost a
decade, they have won 11 of their last 12 and are fighting to prove
they are among the elite teams in the country.

But they were up and down against TCU and struggled to put them
away each time the 49ers built a large lead. Basden hit consecutive
3-pointers to give Charlotte a 52-38 lead, but the Horned Frogs
were able to cut it to 61-55 after back-to-back 3-pointers from
Nile Murry and Brent Hackett.

Basden again pushed Charlotte's lead into double digits on a
reverse layup with 5:34 to play to make it 76-33, but TCU came back
again behind consecutive 3s from Shropshire that made it 78-69.

TCU used a late flurry of 3s to make it close at the end and
force Charlotte to make its foul shots.

"If you didn't care who won, that was a fun one to watch,"
said TCU coach Neil Dougherty.

Mitchell Baldwin, playing with an awkward brace after missing a
game last week with a dislocated shoulder, drew the wrath of Lutz
in the first half when he gave Charlotte a 37-23 lead on a
fast-break dunk. After hanging on the rim for a moment, he was met
at midcourt during the ensuing timeout by a screaming Lutz.

"We seem to be the only team in America that gets technicals
for hanging on the rim," Lutz said after the game. "That is
something I am paranoid about."

The coach continued his tirade during the huddle. Although
Baldwin was smiling when play resumed, a quick 9-0 TCU run forced
the 49ers to get serious.

With the lead whittled down to 37-32 following a dunk by
Ibikunle, Charlotte had to close out the half strong -- getting
baskets from Chris Nance and three free throws from Drayton and
Basden to take a 42-34 lead into the break.