HPU MBB Tussles For Title Saturday At Charleston Southern

Posted by Press Release on February 28, 2015 at 2:33 am under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (22-7, 13-4) looks to claim the outright Big South regular season title Saturday when the Panthers play at Charleston Southern (18-10, 12-5) in both teams’ regular season finale.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. inside the Buc Dome. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network. 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 4 p.m.

With a 13-4 league record, HPU holds a one game lead over the Bucs. With a win, HPU will claim the No. 1 seed in next week’s Big South Tournament. With a loss, CSU will take the No. 1 spot and HPU will be the No. 2 seed.

The Purple & White have clinched at least a share of the Big South regular season title for the third-consecutive campaign.

HPU won its 22nd game of the season Thursday, which ties the program’s Div. I wins record set originally in 2006-07 (22-10). The 20-win season is the second in HPU’s Div. I history and 18th all-time. HPU has set new Div. I records in road wins (9) and league road wins (6) this season. HPU is 9-5 (.615) on the road in 2014-15, including a 6-2 mark in league play. HPU’s best road Div. I winning percentage entering this season was .500 (8-8), set during the 2003-04 season.

Last time out, HPU won at UNC Asheville for the first time since 2007 with a 75-71 victory over the Bulldogs Thursday. HPU led for 32 of a possible 40 minutes of the game. Redshirt-junior John Brown led the Panthers with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Brown (10) and senior Devante Wallace (10) each grabbed double figure rebounds vs. Asheville. It marked the first time since Jan. 16, 2013 vs. Liberty that two Panthers grabbed 10+ rebounds (Brown, Allan Chaney).

HPU has excelled in games in which preparation is at a premium this season. The Panthers are a perfect 5-0 in games that tip less than two days after the conclusion of their previous contest. HPU defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff (74-62) and Hawai’i (62-54) on short rest during the Rainbow Classic, then defeated Campbell (69-62) after a Thursday/Saturday Big South turnaround. In HPU’s most recent three games in five days stretch, the Panthers defeated UNC Asheville (72-51) and won at Presbyterian (62-54) on less than 48 hours rest.

Charleston Southern was picked to finish fifth in the Big South in the league’s preseason poll. The Bucs posted a 6-5 non-conference record, highlighted by a 66-65 OT win at Ole Miss to open the season on Nov. 14. CSU has won five of its last six Big South games. The Bucs are led by pre-season all-Big South first team selection Saah Nimley, who ranks fifth in the nation with 20.9 ppg and distributes 4.1 assists per contest. He is averaing 24.8 ppg in league games. Pre-season all-Big South second team pick Arlon Harper is averaging 12.8 ppg, while senior forward Will Saunders averages 5.8 rpg and chips in 13.0 ppg.

Saturday’s matchup with Charleston Southern will mark the 33rd all-time meeting between the Panthers and Bucs. HPU holds a 17-15 advantage (.531) in the all-time series. The Panthers have won four of the last six meetings, but have not won at the Buc Dome since the 2008-09 campaign. In the most recent meeting, HPU won 72-61, on Jan. 8 in the Millis Center behind 23 points and 11 rebounds from Devante Wallace.

HPU will enter next week’s Big South Tournament as either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. HPU will play its first game on Friday, March 6 at either noon (No. 1 seed) or 6 p.m. (No. 2 seed).

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