HONOLULU – The High Point University men’s basketball team (2-0) will take part in the ESPN 24-hour College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Tuesday morning when the Panthers battle Hawai’i (2-0) for the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic title.
Tip-off between the Panthers and Rainbow Warriors is scheduled for 4:59 a.m. (ET) inside the Stan Sheriff Center. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on ESPN2, with Kenoa Leahey (play-by-play) and Stephen Howard (color) providng the commentary. The game marks HPU’s first appearance on the “Deuce” since the 2004 Big South Tournament Final vs. Liberty.
Fans with a cable package also can watch the game on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. The contest also will air live on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with Evan Lepler handling the broadcast duties. The game marks HPU’s first appearance on the “Deuce” since the 2004 Big South Tournament Final vs. Liberty.
Last time out, the Panthers defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 74-62, on Saturday evening. HPU trailed 57-53 with 12 minutes to go, but used a 16-3 run late in the second half to pull away for the win. Redshirt-junior John Brown made his 2014-15 debut in the game and led the Panthers with 19 points (7-11 FG).
With the victory, HPU improved to 2-0 for just the third time in the last 13 years, matching the 2002-03 and 2012-13 HPU squads which won their first two contests. With a win Tuesday, HPU would start 3-0 for the first time in the Division I era, which began in 1999-2000. The Panthers have not posted a 3-0 start to the season since the 1994-95 campaign when HPU opened with a 5-0 mark.
The Panthers opened the Rainbow Classic with an exhilarating 100-99 victory over Bakersfield in four overtimes on Friday night. Trailing 99-98 with eight seconds left in 4OT, Brian Richardson stole a CSUB inbounds pass and dished a perfect pass to Tarique Thompson to send HPU home with the win.
BROWN CLIMBS THE HPU ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
John Brown entered the 2014-15 campaign at No. 26 on the HPU all-time scoring list. With his 19 points Saturday vs. APB, Brown leapt three spots and into sole possession of 23rd place, passing Anthony Parrish (1978-82), Mike Jefferson (2005-08) and Danny Murphy (1981-85). Next up is Dustin Van Weerdhuizen (1,173). Brown now has 1,082 career points.
A LOOK AT THE RAINBOW WARRIORS
Hawai’i was picked to finish fifth out of nine teams in the 2014-15 Big West preseason poll. Forward Isaac Fotu was named to the all-Big West preseason team but has since been ruled ineligible and will not play against HPU. Hawai’i opened the Rainbow Classic with wins over Pine Bluff (85-57) and Bakersfield (72-65). Sophomore guard Aaron Valdes is leading the Bows in the tournament with 17.0 ppg and is shooting 70.6 percent (12-17) from the floor. Missouri transfer Negus Webster-Chan is averaging 15.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg in two contests so far this season.
HISTORY vs. HAWAI’I
Tuesday’s game will mark the first-ever matchup between High Point and Hawai’i in men’s basketball.
HISTORY vs. BIG WEST OPPONENTS
HPU is 0-2 all-time against current members of the Big West Conference. The Panthers squared off with UC Irvine in both matchups. HPU fell at UC Irvine in the Panthers first DI season (69-74, 1/9/00) and dropped an 80-71 contest to the Roadrunners in the first round of the CIT on March 20, 2013 at Crawford Court. Current junior Adam Weary posted a team-high 18 points in that contest during his freshman campaign.
NATIONAL TV APPEARANCES
The Panthers’ game at Hawai’i on Nov. 18 (4:59 a.m.) will be televised live on ESPN2 as part of ESPN’s 24-hour College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. In addition to that game, HPU will play at least three additional games on the ESPN Family of Networks in 2014-15. The Panthers will play at Ohio State on ESPNU Dec. 10 (7 p.m.) and will face off with Longwood (Jan. 19) and Radford (Feb. 3) inside the Millis Center on ESPN3. In addition, the Big South games vs. Charleston Southern (Jan. 8) and at Radford (Jan. 22), Coastal Carolina (Feb. 6) and UNC Asheville (Feb. 26) are candidates to be picked up by ESPNU.
HPU continues its season-opening road swing with a matchup at Richmond on Saturday, Nov 22 (1 p.m.) inside the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. The game will be carried locally in the Virginia/Maryland/Washington D.C. area by Comcast Sports Net. A video stream of the game also can be purchased through SpiderTV. Fans can listen to the game for free via the High Point Panthers Radio Network streaming audio on HighPointPanthers.com.