Shawn Lester had 20 points and Ben Cherry added 18 as Charlotte overpowered Northeastern’s men’s basketball team in the final 10 minutes to earn an 86-77 win Friday in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan.
The 49ers (4-1) led, 43-34, at halftime, but had to stave off a flurry by the Huskies (2-3), who tied it, 58-58, with under 10 minutes left.
The Huskies went cold for a spell from both the foul line and the field, though, and were never able to take the lead back as the 49ers knocked down their free throws in the closing minutes.
For the game, Charlotte connected on 22 of 28 attempts at the foul line.
NU’s Scott Eatherton had 22 points and 11 rebounds to post his second double-double of the tournament. Demetrius Pollard added 14 points.
The Huskies had several chances to go ahead, but squandered them with misses or turnovers.
It also didn’t help that Northeastern was just 18 for 30 from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Charlotte settled down in its half court attack.
A 3-pointer by Charlotte’s Terrence Williams made it 65-58, and he scored again a few trips later to push it to 69-60 with only 4:22 left.
‘‘Unfortunately our zone wasn’t as effective today as it was yesterday,’’ Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. ‘‘We allowed them to get off to a hot start and it forced us out of our zone . . . I think the story of the second half was that we just left too many points on the free throw line.”
Charlotte led, 43-34, at halftime, thanks largely to its accuracy from beyond the arc. The 49ers connected on 8 of 14 first-half attempts and led by as many as 13 points. Cherry had six 3-pointers and 18 points in the opening 20 minutes.
The 49ers also had 10 assists and defensively made it tough for the Huskies, who shot 35 percent from the field in the half.
Michigan State 96, Virginia Tech 77 — Adreian Payne had 29 points and 10 boards, Keith Appling 13 points and seven assists, and the No. 1 Spartans (5-0) beat the Hokies (3-2) in the semis of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in New York.
Kansas 88, Towson 58 — Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points, Andrew White III had 13, and the No. 2 Jayhawks (4-0) trounced the Tigers (3-2) in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Lawrence, Kan.
VCU 73, Long Beach State 67 — Rob Brandenberg scored 19 points as the No. 10 Rams (4-1) beat the 49ers (1-5) in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Michigan 82, Florida State 80 — Nik Stauskas scored 26 points, including 7 in overtime, as the No. 14 Wolverines (4-1) erased a 16-point second-half deficit to beat the Seminoles (4-1) in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Florida State had a chance to win in the final seconds, but a midcourt heave by Aaron Thomas bounced off the backboard.
UConn 59, Indiana 58 — Shabazz Napier scored 27 points, including 11 over the final seven minutes, to lead the No. 18 Huskies (6-0) over the Hoosiers (5-1) in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic in New York.
Eastern Washington 80, BU 68 — Drew Brandon had 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists to lead the Eagles (3-1) over the Terriers (2-2) at the 2K Sports Classic in Irvine, Calif.
Maurice Watson scored 18 points and Nathan Dieudonne had 16 for BU.
Providence 67, Vanderbilt 60 — Tyler Harris scored 15 points as the Friars (5-0) rallied to top the Commodores (2-2) in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.
Bryce Cotton added 14 for Providence and LaDontae Henton had 12.
UConn 96, BU 38 — Breanna Stewart had 25 points and Stefanie Dolson had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the top-ranked Huskies (6-0) routed the Terriers (1-4) in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Challenge tournament at Storrs, Conn.
Clodagh Scannell led BU with 9 points.
Baylor 88, Northwestern State 54 — Odyssey Sims scored 30 points to help the No. 9 Lady Bears (5-0) extend the nation’s longest home-court winning streak to 62 games with a rout of the Lady Demons (2-2) in Waco, Texas.
Northeastern 5, Merrimack 2 — Dalen Hedges and and Kevin Roy potted two goals each as the Huskies (7-5-0, 2-4-0 Hockey East) toppled the Warriors (3-7-1, 0-4-1) in North Andover.
UMass-Lowell 1, Notre Dame 0 — Stephen Buco scored at 15:46 of the first period on the power play to lift the No. 13 River Hawks (9-4-0, 3-1-0 Hockey East) past the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish (8-4-1, 2-2-1) at the Tsongas Center.
UNH 3, Providence 2 — Matt Willows’s second goal of the game, 15 seconds into overtime, lifted the No. 20 Wildcats (7-5-1, 5-2-0 Hockey East) over the No. 3 Friars (9-2-1, 5-2-0) in Providence.
Vermont 3, UMass 2 — Pete Massar and Nick Bruneteau scored in the second as the Catamounts (4-5-1, 3-4-0 Hockey East) eked past the Minutemen (3-8-2, 1-5-2) at the Mullins Center.
Quinnipiac 3, Princeton 0 — The No. 4 Bobcats (12-1-1, 6-0-1 ECAC) blanked the host Tigers (2-8-0, 1-6-0) on goals from Kellen Jones, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, and Sam Anas.
Harvard 3, BU 1 — Gina McDonald, Samantha Reber, and Miye D’Oench scored as the sixth-ranked Crimson (7-1-1) skated past the No. 9 Terriers (10-3-1) in nonleague play at the Bright-Landry Center. Rebecca Russo scored for BU.
Northeastern 2, Vermont 1 — Katie MacSorley scored twice in the first period and the Huskies (6-8-1, 3-3-1 Hockey East) went on to beat the Catamounts (5-7-2, 3-3-1) in Burlington, Vt.
BC 4, Nebraska 1 — McKenzie Meehan, Hayley Dowd, Gibby Wagner, and Lauren Bernard scored as the Eagles (12-9-1) beat the host No. 10 Cornhuskers (19-4-1) in the second round of the NCAA Division 1 Tournament. BC plays Illinois, a 4-3 winner over Portland, on Sunday in Lincoln, Neb.
Santa Clara 2, BU 1 — Morgan Marlborough scored at 75:56 as the No. 9 Broncos (16-4-1) edged the No. 25 Terriers (15-4-4) in the second round of the NCAA Division 1 Tournament in Blacksburg, Va. Kylie Strom scored for BU.
UConn 2, North Carolina 1 — Marie Elena Bolles scored 4:42 into the game and the No. 4 Huskies (20-4) defeated the No. 3 Tar Heels (18-6) in penalty strokes in the NCAA Division 1 semifinals at Norfolk, Va. UConn will face No. 5 Duke, 3-2 victors over Maryland, Sunday at 4 p.m. for the title.
LIU-Post 1, Merrimack 0 — Keliann Margiotta scored at 64:15 and the Pioneers (21-0) held on to top the Warriors (14-6) in the NCAA Division 2 semifinals in Virginia Beach, Va.