CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—Leemire Goldwire scored 16 second-half points and Charlotte overcame a sluggish shooting game to beat High Point 61-55 on Friday night.
Charlie Coley III added 10 points for the 49ers (1-0), who won their fourth consecutive season-opener despite shooting just 23.5 percent on 3-pointers and 47.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Arizona Reid scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Panthers (0-1), who led by as many as nine points midway through the first half. Mike Jefferson added 11 points.
Goldwire, the 49ers’ leading returning scorer at 14.5 points per game last season, was held scoreless in the first half after picking up three fouls in the first seven minutes.
But he opened the second half by hitting a 3-pointer that gave Charlotte its first lead since the opening minutes of the game, then a short jumper with 17:41 left that put the 49ers ahead to stay.
Charlotte led by as many as 12 points in the final period, going ahead 49-37 on a pair of Charles Dewhurst free throws with 8:51 remaining.
The Panthers mounted their own rally, cutting Charlotte’s margin to 52-50 on Reid’s 3-pointer with 2:51 remaining. But Coley hit a free throw, followed by back-to-back buckets off steals by Goldwire and An’Juan Wilderness to push the 49ers’ lead back to 57-50 with 50.7 seconds left.
Charlotte led early behind a pair of baskets by Phil Jones, but Campbell and Reid keyed a 12-2 run that put the Panthers ahead 15-6 with 13:11 left, their biggest lead of the first half.
The 49ers fought back rallied with their own 12-3 run, capped by Lamont Mack’s 3-pointer that tied the score at 18 with 9:35 left. But Reid scored seven points in an 8-1 run that put the Panthers ahead 26-19 with 5:40 remaining.
Charlotte mounted a final rally in the first half, with Dewhurst’s layup with three second left capping an 8-2 run to cut the Panthers’ lead to 28-27 at the break.