HPU Men’s Basketball Plays Host to Gardner-Webb Wednesday

Posted by Press Release on February 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (19-7, 10-4) hosts the first contest of a two-game homestand Wednesday when Gardner-Webb (16-11, 8-6) invades the Millis Center.

The game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network, featuring commentary from Sean Hamilton (play-by-play) and Ameer Tyree (color commentary). In addition, “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.

With a 10-4 league record, HPU is tied with Charleston Southern for first place in the Big South standings.

HPU has won 19 games for just the third time in its Div. I history. The Panthers won 19 games in 2003-04 and a Div. I-best 22 contests in 2006-07. A win Wednesday would give HPU 20 wins for the second time in the Div. I era and just the 17th time in the program’s 87-year history.

Last time out, HPU won at Campbell, 63-51, on Saturday to complete a season sweep of the Camels. HPU held Campbell to 35 percent shooting (14-40) and forced 19 Camel turnovers.

Redshirt-junior John Brown led the Panthers with 21 points (9-13 FG) and six rebounds in the game, while redshirt-senior Brian Richardson added 12 points (3-5 FG) and a season-best four steals. It marked Richardson’s first double-figure scoring effort since a 13-point performance at Winthrop on Jan. 3.

HPU set a new Div. I game record for free throws without a miss (16-16) in the win at Campbell. The mark broke the previous high (10-10) set at Liberty on Jan. 26, 2008.

Brown was named Big South Player of the Week by the league and College Sports Madness Monday after averaging 27.5 ppg and shooting 60.9 percent from the field (.833 FT%) in two wins for HPU. ESPN’s Dana O’Neil named Brown her national player of the week for his efforts. In addition, ESPN’s Jay Bilas named the Jacksonville, Fla., native the best dunker in college basketball Saturday on College GameDay.

Devante Wallace is HPU’s all-time leader in 3-point field goal percentage (.426). With three more triples, he will move into third on HPU’s all-time 3-pointers made list. He has 171 career 3-pointers.

Gardner-Webb was picked to finish sixth in the Big South preseason poll. 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 was part of the seven-way Big South tie at 8-4 but has since dropped its past two games. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are led by preseason second team all-Big South selection Jerome Hill, who ranks second in the conference with 19.2 ppg and is grabbing a league-best 10.1 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Tyler Strange ranks second nationally with 7.7 assists per contest and is seventh in assist/turnover ratio (3.4).

Wednesday’s matchup with Gardner-Webb will mark the 47th all-time meeting between the Panthers and Runnin’ Bulldogs. HPU leads the all-time series 24-22 (.592) and has captured four of the past five meetings. HPU won the first game this season, 84-72, in Boiling Springs behind a career-high 23 points from Adam Weary. GWU has not won in the Millis Center since Jan. 10, 2009.

HPU was ranked No. 22 in the Feb. 2 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. It marked the first time in program history the team had appeared in the poll. After dropping out of the poll Feb. 9, the Panthers returned in the No. 24 spot on Feb. 16.

HPU remains in the Millis Center to take on Presbyterian Saturday (Feb. 21) at 7 p.m. Pre-game coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network begins at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the game, HPU will honor its five seniors for their contributions to the program.

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