HPU MBB Heads To Gardner-Webb For Wednesday Tilt

Posted by Press Release on January 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team meets Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs on Wednesday (Jan. 14) in a battle of 3-1 Big South teams.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Paul Porter Arena. Wednesday’s game will air live on the Big South Network. The game also will be broadcast on the High Point Panthers Radio Network featuring Evan Lepler and Stafford Stephenson. Pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Panthers are looking for their first win at GWU since 2010.

The Panthers are 15-3 in their past 18 Big South conference games. HPU has won five of its past six league road games. HPU is off to its best start (12-4) since the 1993-94 season.

Last time out, HPU earned its sixth win in the last seven games by knocking off Campbell, 69-62, on Jan. 10 in Millis.

Junior forward Lorenzo Cugini led HPU with a career-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He knocked down a career-best six 3-pointers on seven attempts (.857) and grabbed six rebounds. Cugini is shooting a Big South best 68.8 percent (11-16) from beyond the arc in league play.

Redshirt-junior John Brown chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds and tied his career-high with five steals against Campbell. He is averaging 20.3 ppg and 7.5 rpg in league play.

With two rebounds against Gardner-Webb, Brown will become just the eighth player in Big South history to post 1,300 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals in a career.

The Panthers held a +13 edge against Campbell (34-21) on the glass, marking the second-straight game HPU was +13 on the boards. HPU leads the Big South in rebounding margin in conference games (+6.7). The Panthers are 10-0 when they out-rebound the opposition, but just 2-4 when their opponent holds the edge in rebounding this season. The Panthers average a +4.5 rebounding margin in wins this season, but are -11.0 in losses.

Gardner-Webb was picked to finish sixth in the Big South preseason poll, but has exceeded expectations in the first half of the season. GWU posted a 8-5 non-conference record, which included wins over Power 5 conference foes Clemson (72-70) on Nov. 21 and Purdue (89-84) on Dec. 22 in West Lafayette. GWU has won three of its first four Big South contests. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are led by preseason second team all-Big South selection Jerome Hill, who ranks third in the conference with 18.3 ppg and is grabbing a league-best 9.2 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Tyler Strange ranks fourth nationally with 7.3 assists per contest and assist/turnover ratio (4.0). The reigning Big South Player of the Week is averaging 8.0 dimes in league play.

Wednesday’s matchup with Gardner-Webb will mark the 46th all-time meeting between the Panthers and Runnin’ Bulldogs. HPU holds a slim 23-22 (.511) advantage in the all-time series. The Panthers have won three of the last four meetings, but have not earned a victory in Boiling Springs since the 2009-10 season. The teams first met during the 1970-71 season, with GWU grabbing a 103-84 win in High Point. In the most recent meeting, HPU fell to Gardner-Webb, 80-76, on Feb. 8 last season in Boiling Springs.

HPU returns to the Triad to battle Longwood on Monday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m. inside the Millis Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3, with live audio also available on the High Point Panthers Radio Network. Pre-game audio begins at 6:30 p.m.

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