NCAA BK

Charlotte loses to Saint Louis 72-55 at A-10

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NEW YORK (AP)

Charlotte's visit to the Atlantic 10 tournament ended with a team trip to the hospital.

Sophomore guard Pierria Henry caught an elbow to the lower neck in a scary moment late in the 49ers' 72-55 loss to top-seeded Saint Louis in Friday's quarterfinals. He was diagnosed with a bruised trachea and back at the team hotel by Friday night.

Henry, who hit eight free throws in the final five seconds Thursday to give Charlotte a wild win over Richmond, stayed on the floor for several minutes, short of breath.

The officials ruled that the Billikens' Jordair Jett did not raise his elbows illegally.

Henry eventually walked off the court under his own power but was still in obvious discomfort. He was wheeled out of the arena receiving oxygen and taken to a hospital, where the rest of the team headed after the game.

Before coach Alan Major left for the hospital, he said he was ''very, very concerned.''

''A guy has a tough time breathing, I'm not quite sure what that means,'' he said.

Major and Henry's teammates got good news, but it was still a sobering end to a strange two days in Brooklyn. Trailing Richmond by three points with less than five seconds left in the first round, ninth-seeded Charlotte came from behind at the free-throw line when the Spiders were called for three technical fouls.

There was no chance for a last-second rally Friday against 16th-ranked Saint Louis' defense, and if the 49ers' season continues, it will be in the NIT. The Billikens forced 20 turnovers and turned them into 21 points.

''They were just speeding us up,'' said Chris Braswell, who led Charlotte with 20 points and 10 rebounds. ''We were just rushing, trying to make home run passes.''

Saint Louis forward Dwayne Evans scored a career-high 25 points. He finished 8 for 9 from the floor and 9 for 9 from the foul line and added nine rebounds.

After Charlotte (21-11) hit its first two 3-pointers of the tournament to pull within 19-16, Saint Louis (25-6) scored 13 straight points in under two minutes. The Billikens forced three turnovers and hit three 3-pointers to take a 32-16 lead with more than 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Charlotte never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Evans was called for his third foul less than a minute into the second half and went to the bench. But with Charlotte threatening to make a run, he returned - and immediately scored inside to put Saint Louis back up 43-33 with more than 14 minutes to go.

That sparked an 11-3 spurt, with Evans accounting for eight of the points that returned the lead to 16.

The rest of the Billikens were just 13 of 47 from the floor. They were 5 of 23 on 3-pointers, but hung in against a strong rebounding team on the boards and held Charlotte to 38.8 percent shooting.

''I think we got the win kind of like we usually do,'' interim coach Jim Crews said. ''We get a little from the defense, a little inside. We don't shoot the ball that well from 3. It seemed like we get 3s at the right time, get to the line. We have a lot of different ways. I don't know if we're really, really good at any of them, but we're good at a lot of them.''

Tagged: Saint Louis, Charlotte, Dwayne Evans

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