High Point Hosts Winthrop In Wednesday Blackout Battle

Posted by Press Release on February 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (17-7, 8-4) returns to the Millis Center Wednesday night to host rival Winthrop (13-10, 8-4) in HPU’s annual Blackout game.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and all fans attending the game will receive a free Blackout t-shirt.

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network, featuring Ford Martin (play-by-play) and Ameer Tyree (color commentary). “Voice of the Panthers” Evan Lepler and Stafford Stephenson also will call the game on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

HPU and Winthrop are two of five Big South teams just a half game out of first place in the conference with 8-4 league records. UNC Asheville leads the league at 9-4.

The last three games between High Point and Winthrop have been decided by a total of six points. In the first meeting this season, High Point won 90-87 in double overtime on Jan. 3 in Rock Hill, S.C. Redshirt-junior John Brown scored a season-high 33 points for HPU.

With a victory Wednesday, HPU would reach the 18-win plateau for just the third time in the program’s Division I history.

Last time out, HPU fell at Coastal Carolina, 65-60, on Friday night in an ESPNU showcase game. The Panthers led 56-49 with 4:14 to play, but missed their final seven shots as Coastal Carolina closed the game on a 16-4 run.

Junior Adam Weary led the Panthers with 19 points (7-14 FG) while redshirt-junior John Brown tallied 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Weary ranks second on the team with 13.6 ppg in conference play and is shooting 49.1 percent from the field. He’s posted at least 10 points in 9-of-12 conference games.

With 19 points vs. Winthrop, Brown would become just the fourth player in Big South history with 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 blocks and 100 steals in a career.

WINNING THE BOARDS BATTLE KEY TO HPU SUCCESS
HPU has out-rebounded its opponent in eight of 12 league games in 2014-15. The Panthers are 13-1 when they out-rebound the opposition, but just 4-6 when their opponent holds the edge in rebounding this season. The Panthers average a +3.6 rebounding margin in wins this season, but are -9.7 in losses.

A LOOK AT THE EAGLES (13-10)
Winthrop was picked to finish fourth in the Big South in the league’s preseason poll. The Eagles posted a 5-6 non-conference record, highlighted by a 77-74 win at Clemson on Nov. 17. Winthrop started Big South play 3-3 but has won five of its past six league games. WU is led by preseason all-conference second team selection Keon Moore, who ranks second in the Big South in league play with 19.6 ppg and is shooting 43.7 percent (38-87) from 3-point range. Freshman forward Xavier Cooks is averaging a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game (overall games), while senior guard Andre Smith is the team’ s leading assists man (4.4 apg). Smith also chips in 11.5 ppg and ranks third in the league with a 2.17 assist/turnover ratio.

HISTORY vs. WINTHROP
Wednesday’s matchup with Winthrop will mark the 37th all-time meeting between the Panthers and Eagles. Winthrop leads the all-time series 25-11, although HPU has won six of the past seven meetings. HPU won the first meeting between the teams this season, 90-87, in double overtime on Jan. 3. John Brown posted a season-high 33 points in the win. Winthrop has not won in the Millis Center since 2007.

SUCCESS AT HOME
High Point has posted a 28-10 (.737) record in the Millis Center since the start of the 2012-13 season. HPU is 8-2 at home this season and has won 15 of its past 17 home games (.882).

BROWN’S DUNK DRAWS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Brown’s one-handed alley-oop slammer at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 6 earned the Jacksonville, Fla., native the No. 2 spot on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Plays Friday, marking his 10th all-time Top Plays appearance. The dunk also went viral on social media, with multiple national outlets chiming in with accolades. Brown’s jam was featured by Deadspin, SB Nation, ESPN.com, The Sporting News and more. ESPN’s John Buccigross and the Sporting News each called the jam one of the best alley-oop dunks of all time, while CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish and ESPN.com’s Jay Bilas referenced it as a national dunk of the year nominee.

UP NEXT
HPU hits the road for a Valentine’s Day clash with Campbell on Saturday (Feb. 14) in Buies Creek, N.C. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside Gore Arena.


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