HPU MBB Drops 3OT Heartbreaker To Charleston Southern, 97-93

Posted by Press Release on March 1, 2015 at 12:11 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• HPU is a Big South regular season co-champion and is the first program to win three-straight regular season titles since the Gregg Marshall era at Winthrop (2004-07)
• Redshirt-junior John Brown led HPU with 27 points while Lorenzo Cugini chipped in 15 points (6-9 FG)
• HPU shot 55.6 percent in the game, but CSU hit a school-record 19 3-pointers to propel past the Panthers in 3OT
• The Panthers earned the No. 2 seed in the Big South Championship and will play the winner of No. 7 GWU/No. 10 Campbell in the quarterfinals on Friday (March 6) at 6 p.m. in Conway, S.C.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team put forth an extraordinary effort for 55 minutes of action Saturday but came up just short in a 97-93, triple-overtime setback to Charleston Southern inside the Buc Dome.

HPU held leads in all three extra sessions, but the Buccaneers made a school-record 19 3-pointers, including five in the overtime sessions, to power past the Panthers and claim the No. 1 seed in next week’s Big South Championship.

High Point (22-8, 13-5) earns a share of the Big South regular season championship with CSU (19-10, 13-5) and will enter the 2015 Big South Championship as the No. 2 seed. HPU has a bye into the quarterfinals and will play the winner of No. 7 Gardner-Webb/No. 10 Campbell on Friday (March 6) at 6 p.m.

The Panthers are the first Big South program to win three-straight Big South regular season championships since the Gregg Marshall era at Winthrop from 2004-07.

The Purple & White shot at least 50 percent in both halves and the overtime sessions and finished at a 55.6 percent clip (40-72) for the game. CSU shot 45.3 percent (34-75) from the floor but made 19-of-45 (.422) 3-pointers to make up the deficit. The Buccaneers held a 45-39 edge on the glass, but HPU held a commanding 56-26 lead in points in the paint. The Panthers also held significant advantages in points off turnovers (24-17), fast break points (14-0) and bench scoring (25-13).

“I’m disappointed. Obviously we’d have loved to have won this game on the road,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We had three plays to seal the game in regulation and the first two overtimes but we didn’t do it. The guys played their hearts out and did everything they possibly could to win the game under very difficult conditions. I’m proud of our team and we can use this as motivation moving into the tournament next week.”

Redshirt-junior forward John Brown led the Panthers with 27 points (12-21) while also contributing six rebounds and a pair of assists in 50 minutes. Fellow junior Lorenzo Cugini added 15 points (6-9 FG) and six rebounds, while point guard Haiishen McIntyre added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Senior guard Devante Wallace added 10 points and knocked down two big 3-pointers, while redshirt-senior Brian Richardson and sophomore Jorge Perez-Laham each contributed five assists to lead HPU. Perez-Laham notched seven points while Richardson tallied nine.

HPU made five of its first seven shots to race out to an 11-4 lead, but CSU responded with a 6-0 run to pull within one (11-10) at the 13:31 mark of the first half. From there, the Panthers blitzed ahead by 13 (23-10) on the strength of a 12-0 run. The surge included 3-pointers from Cugini and sophomore Anthony Lindauer.

Charleston Southern cut the lead to six (27-21) with 5:42 to play in the half, but HPU built the lead back up to 10 (31-21) with 3:19 to play in the half. CSU ended the half on a mini 4-1 run to trail HPU, 34-28, at the break.

The Panthers shot 53.6 percent (15-28) in the half and limited CSU to 36.7 percent (11-30). Brown led the Purple & White in the stanza with eight points.

HPU extended its edge to 11 (42-31) on a 3-pointer from Perez-Laham at the 17:39 mark of the second half, but from there, the Buccaneers began to heat up from beyond the arc. CSU had a stretch where it hit 8-of-8 3-pointers and used an 11-2 run to build a 54-50 lead with 10:26 to play in the game.

HPU used a 5-0 run to go back up 55-54, but CSU answered with a 7-2 run to build a 61-57 lead for the Bucs with 6:09 to play. With Charleston Southern leading 64-59, HPU used an 8-2 spurt – punctuated by a Brown tip-in – to move ahead 67-66 with 49 seconds to play. CSU’s Saah Nimley hit a 3-pointer to give CSU a two-point lead (69-67) with 19 seconds remaining, but on HPU’s final possession, Brown was fouled and hit two huge free throws with four seconds to play to send the game into overtime.

A 3-pointer from Cugini and dunk from Brown pushed HPU ahead 74-69 with 2:51 to go in the first OT period, but a triple and free throws from Nimley tied the score (74-74) with 37 seconds to play. HPU could not score on its final possession and the two teams entered overtime No. 2.

The teams went back and forth in the second overtime and the score was tied at 80-80 with 57 seconds left. A big 3-pointer from Cugini put HPU up 83-80 with 41 seconds to play, but CSU’s Arlon Harper hit a triple with 14 seconds left. A Weary runner was no good as time expired, sending the game into a third overtime.

HPU and CSU played to a 91-91 tie with 1:43 to go in 3OT, but from there, CSU scored the next four points to go up 95-91 with 14 seconds to play. A Cugini jumper cut it to 95-93, but CSU hit a pair of free throws to ice the game and escape with the win.

HPU is now 2-1 in multiple overtime games this season.

No. 7 Gardner-Webb and No. 10 Campbell will match up Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Conway in the first round of the Big South Championship. HPU will play the winner on Friday at 6 p.m.

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