High Point Men’s Basketball Drops 67-64 Contest To Radford

Posted by Press Release on February 4, 2015 at 8:12 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• Redshirt-junior John Brown led the Panthers with 21 points and nine rebounds
• HPU outscored Radford 35-27 in the second half but could not score on its final possession down by three
• The Panthers return to action Friday at Coastal Carolina in a 9 p.m. contest televised on ESPNU

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team outscored Radford 35-27 in the second half but could not get past the visiting Highlanders in a 67-64 setback Tuesday night in the Millis Center.

HPU trailed 40-29 at halftime but used a steady comeback throughout the second half to cut the lead to one (63-62) with 38 seconds to play. After the teams traded free throws, HPU had a final possession down three (67-64) but could not score as RU escaped with the victory.

“This game was two really good basketball teams playing a competitive game in February,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We just didn’t get off to a good start and they came out, got comfortable and made a lot of shots. In the second half, our guys came out and played really well. I give them credit for responding with a great defensive effort. We gave ourselves a chance at the end and the game came down to that last possession.”

HPU and Radford now sit at the top of the Big South standings with 8-3 league records while Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, Winthrop, Charleston Southern and UNC Asheville are a game back at 7-4.

Despite Radford shooting 61.5 percent in the first half, HPU held the Highlanders to 33.3 percent (7-21) in the second half while shooting at a 52 percent clip (13-25) to get back in the game. The Panthers were +16 (38-22) in points in the paint and +7 (16-9) in points off turnovers for the game, but Radford held a 28-25 edge in rebounding and was +12 (29-17) in bench scoring.

Redshirt-junior John Brown led the Panthers with 21 points (10-20 FG) and nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action. With his 16th point of the contest, Brown moved past Barry Smith and into solo possession of eighth place on the HPU all-time scoring list. Brown has now posted 1,463 career points.

Junior Adam Weary added 15 points (7-12 FG), four assists and three steals, while senior guard Devante Wallace chipped in 10 points and hit 2-of-4 3-point field goal attempts. With his first triple of the game, Wallace moved into solo possession of fourth-place on HPU’s all time 3-pointers made list. He now has 165 career treys.

Sophomore guard Jorge Perez-Laham tallied a game-high six assists and added six points in 26 minutes.

Hot-shooting Radford opened the game by scoring 12 of the first 14 points after making its first four field goal attempts (2-2 3pt FG). HPU cut it to four (16-12) after six straight points from Weary, but Radford responded with an 18-5 run to move ahead by 15 (32-17) with 5:38 to play in the half. HPU responded with a 6-0 run to cut the RU lead to eight (37-29) and trailed by 11 (40-29) at the break.

Radford jumped out to the big lead on the strength of a half in which the Highlanders shot 61.5 percent (16-26), including a 7-of-13 (.538) mark from 3-point territory. HPU shot 14-of-29 (.483) in the half and Brown led the Panthers with 12 points in the stanza.

The Panthers hunkered down on defense in the second half, allowing just six points over the first 9:23 of the stanza to pull within two (46-44) with 10:37 to play in the game. HPU utilized a 15-6 run during the stretch that featured 3-pointers from Wallace, Weary and junior Lorenzo Cugini.

The Radford lead fluctuated from two to six over the next four minutes before a 3-pointer from RU’s Cameron Jones moved the Highlanders back up seven (57-50) with 6:03 to go. With Radford up 62-57 with 2:40 remaining, Wallace hit a 3-pointer to move HPU back within two (62-60) and a lay-in from Weary put the Panthers within one (63-62) with 38 seconds to go.

Radford’s Brandon Holcomb was fouled and hit two free throws to move Radford back up three (65-62) with 20 seconds left and after a pair of free throws on both ends, HPU had a chance for a final shot down three (67-64) with nine seconds to go. Brown’s 3-point attempt hit front rim and the Highlanders escaped with a 67-64 win.

The Panthers now head to Conway, S.C., for a Friday matchup with Coastal Carolina. The 9 p.m. contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

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