College Basketball Roundup: 49ers top North Texas; Gardner-Webb faces UNCA in Big South Tournament

The winner of the game between UNCA and Gardner-Webb will play either Winthrop or SC Upstate

UNC Charlotte Basketball

CHARLOTTE — Jordan Shepherd scored 18 points and Charlotte upended Conference USA regular-season champion North Texas 56-43 Wednesday night.

North Texas (20-11, 14-4) clinched its first regular-season conference title in 31 years on Sunday, defeating nemesis Western Kentucky for the first time in 11 meetings. The Mean Green also broke the program record for single-season conference wins.

Charlotte (16-12, 10-7) won a school-record 13th game in Halton Arena this season. Jahmir Young had 10 points for the 49ers, Malik Martin added five steals.

Javion Hamlet had 16 points for the Mean Green while Deng Geu added nine rebounds and three blocks.

Charlotte finishes out the regular season against Louisiana Tech on the road on Saturday. North Texas awaits the Conference USA Tournament March 11-14 at Frisco, Texas.

UNC Asheville meets Gardner-Webb in Big South quarters

UNC Asheville is set to take on third-seeded Gardner-Webb in the quarterfinals of the Big South Tournament today at 2 p.m. at Dedmon Center in Radford, Virginia. The only meeting between the teams this season came on Jan. 30, when the Runnin’ Bulldogs (15-15, 11-7) outshot UNC Asheville (15-15, 9-10) 50.9% to 42.9% and made seven more 3-pointers on their way to the 70-56 victory.

UNCA has been led by sophomores LJ Thorpe and DeVon Baker. Thorpe has averaged 14 points and 6.3 rebounds while Baker has put up 16.5 points per game. Gardner-Webb’s Eric Jamison Jr. and Nate Johnson are averaging 14.4 and 13.1 points, respectively.

Jamison has connected on 35.8% of the 53 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 12 over his last five games.

UNC Asheville will look to play an up-tempo, high-scoring game. The Bulldogs are 0-9 when they score 70 points or fewer and 15-6 when they exceed 70 points. Gardner-Webb is 0-9 when they fail to score more than 64 points and 15-6 on the season, otherwise.

UNC-Asheville has committed a turnover on just 16.5% of its possessions this season, which is the second-best percentage among all Big South teams. Gardner-Webb has turned the ball over only 11.6 times per game this season and just 9.4 times per game over their last five games.