HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (15-5, 6-2) will look to keep its spot atop the Big South Monday night when the Panthers travel to Clinton, S.C., to take on Presbyterian (7-14, 3-5).
Tip-off inside the Templeton Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday’s game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network. Kevin Burke also will call the game on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.
At 6-2, HPU is part of a three-way tie for first place in the Big South standings with Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern. The Purple & White are off to their best league start since the 2006-07 season.
Last time out, HPU picked up a critical 72-51 win over UNC Asheville Saturday in front of a sellout crowd in the Millis Center. The 21-point win over Asheville was HPU’s largest vs. the Bulldogs since the 2006-07 season.
HPU shot 51.8 percent (29-56) and held the Bulldogs to 39.3 percent (22-56). The Panthers limited the Big South’s leading scorer – UNCA’s Andrew Rowsey (19.6 ppg entering the game) – to just three points (1-8 FG) in the contest.
The Panthers made 20 assists on 29 made field goals against the Bulldogs. HPU is now 7-1 this season when it distributes 15 or more assists in a game.
Redshirt-junior John Brown led HPU with 15 points (6-11 FG) and seven rebounds while junior forward Lorenzo Cugini added 14 points (5-9 FG, 2-4 3pt FG) and five rebounds for the Panthers.
With his 15 points vs. UNCA, Brown passed four former Panther greats and moved into the No. 11 spot on HPU’s all-time scoring list (Div I and non-Div. I) with 1,422 points.
A LOOK AT THE BLUE HOSE (7-14, 3-5)
Presbyterian was picked to finish 10th in the Big South preseason poll and posted a 4-9 mark in non-conference play. PC is 3-5 to begin Big South play. The Blue Hose are 5-5 in home games this season In its most recent outing, PC fell at Coastal Carolina, 63-52, on Saturday. Presbyterian is led by the two-headed scoring machine of Jordan Downing and DeSean Murray. Downing, a senior, is averaging 17.4 ppg (6th in Big South) while Murray, a freshman, is at 17.2 ppg and 7.9 rpg in just nine games this season. Junior guard Austin Anderson is averaging a team-high 2.9 assists per game.
HISTORY vs. PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE
Monday’s matchup vs. Presbyterian College will mark the 19th all-time meeting between the Panthers and Blue Hose. HPU holds a 10-8 edge in the all-time series and has won seven of the past eight meetings, including an 81-74 win in Clinton on Jan. 28 last season. Devante Wallace posted 28 points and made 8-of-9 3-point field goal attempts in the game against the Blue Hose last season. The teams first met on Feb. 11, 1943, with HPU grabbing a 53-41 win in High Point.
(PRACTICALLY) NO DAYS OFF IN BIG SOUTH PLAY
Starting with HPU’s game at Radford on Jan. 22, the Panthers are in the midst of a three games in five days stretch. HPU is 1-1 so far, with a loss at Radford and win vs. UNC Asheville. The Panthers are 4-0 this season in games tipped within 48 hours of their previous contest.
HPU remains on the road to take on Liberty on Thursday (Jan. 29) at 7 p.m. in Lynchburg, Va. The game will be streamed nationally on ESPN3, with pre-game coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network beginning at 6:30 p.m.