HPU MBB Plays at EKU in CIT Second Round Friday

Posted by Press Release on March 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (23-9) has advanced to the second round of the 2015 CollegeInsider.com Tournament and will play at Eastern Kentucky (20-11, 11-5 OVC) on Friday night in Richmond, Ky.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Colonels is set for 7 p.m. inside Alumni Coliseum. Friday’s game will be streamed on CollegeInsider.com. In addition, “Voice of the Panthers” Evan Lepler will call the game on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.


• HPU is making its school record third-consecutive postseason appearance. Wednesday’s 70-64 win over UMES marked High Point’s first ever Division I postseason victory.

• HPU’s 23 are tied the most in the program’s Div. I history. The 20-win season is the second in HPU’s Div. I history and 18th all-time. HPU’s 23 wins are eighth most in program annals.

• Last time out, HPU defeated UMES, 70-64, on Wednesday inside the Millis Center in CIT First Round action. Redshirt-junior forward John Brown led the Panthers with a game-high 23 points (11-12 FT) and grabbed seven rebounds.

• The Purple & White rallied from a 15-point first half deficit and has now come back from 15 or more down to win three times this season.

High Point head coach Scott Cherry picked up his 95th career victory as skipper of the Panthers on Wednesday vs. UMES. With a win at EKU Friday, Cherry would move past Bart Lundy and into sole possession of first place on the HPU all-time Div. I wins list.

HPU has excelled in games in which preparation is at a premium this season. The Panthers are 5-1 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. HPU fell at CSU, 97-93 (3OT), in its regular season finale after playing two days before vs. UNC Asheville.

John Brown entered the 2014-15 campaign at No. 26 on the HPU all-time scoring list. With his 594 points so far this season, Brown has already vaulted up to sixth on the all-time list. Next up is Pete Collins who posted 1,838 points from 1970-74. JB is up to 1,657 points in his career, which is third-most in High Point Division I history.

Eastern Kentucky has posted a 20-11 mark in 2014-15 and finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference with an 11-5 league mark. EKU fell to eventual OVC Tournament Champion Belmont, 53-52, in the league semifinals on March 6. EKU is known for its pressure defense, as the Colonels lead the nation in turnover margin (+7.3) and are second in steals/game (9.7). EKU also is second nationally in free throw percentage (.782). Eastern Kentucky is 12-3 at home this season. The Colonels won their CIT First Round game, 81-75, on Wednesday in Richmond. EKU is led by OVC Defensive Player of the Year Corey Walden, who paces the team in scoring (18.5 ppg), assists (3.7 apg) and steals (3.1/game). Senior forward Eric Stutz is second on the team in scoring (15.8 ppg) and leads the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg).

Friday’s game vs. Eastern Kentucky will mark the fifth all-time meeting between the Panthers and Colonels. EKU holds a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. The teams first met on Dec. 18, 2000, with the Colonels grabbing a 72-68 OT win in Richmond. In the most recent meeting, EKU defeated the Panthers, 74-67, at Alumni Coliseum on Nov. 16, 2014. John Brown posted 18 points and nine rebounds in the 2014 meeting. HPU’s win came on Dec. 4, 2001, when the Purple & White won 70-60 in High Point.

High Point is 1-2 all-time in postseason play. The Panthers made their Div. I postseason debut during the 2012-13 season when the Panthers fell at UC Irvine, 80-71, on March 20, 2013. The Purple & White earned their first ever NIT berth in 2014 and almost knocked off eventual tournament champion Minnesota before falling to the Gophers, 88-81, in Minneapolis. Wednesday’s 70-64 win over UMES markes the Panthers’ first-ever win Div. I win in postseason action.

With a victory, High Point will move on to the CIT Quarterfinals and will play either Tuesday (March 24) or Wednesday (March 25). Site and opponent are to be determined.

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