HPU MBB Reaches 20 Wins With 83-62 Victory Over GWU

Posted by Press Release on February 19, 2015 at 6:19 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• HPU had five players score in double figures and seven student-athletes post at least two assists
• The victory gave HPU 20 wins for just the second time in the program’s 16-year Division I era
• Junior Lorenzo Cugini led the Panthers with 19 points (7-8 FG) and seven rebounds

HIGH POINT, N.C. – For just the second time in the program’s Division I history, the High Point University men’s basketball team has reached the 20-win mark after dispatching of Gardner-Webb, 83-62, on Wednesday night inside the Millis Center.

HPU (20-7, 11-4) remains tied with Charleston Southern for first place in the Big South with the victory. Gardner-Webb falls to 16-12 (8-7 Big South).

Despite redshirt-senior John Brown being held to two points and no field goals for the first time in almost two years, the Panthers put together a commanding victory on the strength of a true team effort on both sides of the ball.

HPU had five players score in double figures and the Panthers dished out an impressive 21 assists on 33 field goals. Seven Panthers distributed at least two assists in the game. The 21 helpers were the most by High Point in a league game since a 26-assist effort at Longwood on Feb. 22, 2014.

“I thought tonight was a great team effort,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “When John Brown scores two points and you score 83 and win by 21, that’s a great effort from a lot of different guys. Five guys in double figures and 21 assists on 33 field goals – that’s just tremendous team basketball.”

In addition to the solid offensive effort, HPU limited the league’s top scoring offense (74.5 ppg) to just 62 points and a 36.2 percent clip (21-58) from the field. GWU was just 5-of-24 (.208) from 3-point territory.

Junior Lorenzo Cugini led the Panthers with 19 points (7-8 FG) and a team-high seven rebounds. The Stow, Ohio, native also knocked down 4-of-5 3-point attempts and dished out two assists in 30 minutes of action.

Redshirt-senior Brian Richardson chipped in 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting while sophomore forward Tarique Thompson added 13 points (6-8 FG). Senior Devante Wallace notched 11 points and hit 3-of-4 3-point attempts and junior Haiishen McIntyre tallied 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.

With his third triple of the game, Wallace moved into solo possession of third-place on HPU’s all-time 3-pointers made list. The Baltimore native has knocked down 172 3-pointers in his career.

Freshman K.J. James played arguably his best defensive game of the season, as the Charleston, S.C., product tied his career-high with six rebounds and swatted a personal best two shots in 16 minutes off the bench.

HPU held significant advantages in points in the paint (34-26), bench scoring (36-13), fast break points (14-4) and blocks (7-2).

The two teams played to an early 9-9 tie before HPU used an 11-0 run to build a 20-9 lead at the 12:25 mark of the first half. The sequence included two buckets from Thompson and a 3-pointer from Wallace. GWU put together a 6-0 run to move back within three (26-23), but HPU answered with an 11-2 run over the half’s final five minutes of the period to take a 37-25 advantage into the break

HPU limited GWU to just 25.8 percent (8-31) shooting in the half, including a 2-of-11 mark from 3-point territory. Cugini led the Panthers with 12 first-half points (5-5 FG).

Eight-straight points from Richardson early in the second half pushed the Panthers ahead by 18 (47-29) and HPU led 51-33 after a jumper from weary with 14:24 to go.

GWU cut it to 10 (56-46) at the 8:41 mark, but that’s as close as the Runnin’ Bulldogs would get, as HPU used an 11-2 run down the stretch to pull away for the victory.

The Panthers will now host Presbyterian on Saturday (7 p.m.) in the team’s home finale. Prior to the game, HPU will honor its 2015 senior class for its outstanding contributions to the program.

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