HPU Men’s Basketball Drops Close Contest At Texas Tech, 77-73

Posted by Press Release on November 14, 2015 at 7:51 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• HPU had four players post double-figure scoring totals, led by Lorenzo Cugini (15) and Anthony Lindauer (14)
• The Panthers used a 17-3 run to take a three-point lead (68-65) with three minutes to play
• HPU returns to action Sunday (Nov. 15) vs. North Carolina Wesleyan in the Millis Center

LUBBOCK, Texas – The High Point University men’s basketball team put together a balanced scoring attack to push Texas Tech to the limit, but the Panthers ultimately fell to the Red Raiders, 77-73, on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

Down 62-51 with 7:20 to go, HPU stormed back with a 17-3 run to take a 68-65 with 3:02 left. But Texas Tech responded with a 7-0 run and hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

“I’m not big on moral victories, especially because we had a great chance to win this one,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “But a lot of guys played well and stepped up when John got into foul trouble. I’m proud of our guys – we need to build on this. We need to treat every opponent like a Big 12 opponent, because if we come out like this we can play with anybody.”

HPU had four players in double figures, led by senior Lorenzo Cugini, who drilled 5-of-7 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 15 points. Junior Anthony Lindauer scored all 14 of his points in the second half while knocking down a trio of 3-pointers and making all five of his free throw attempts.

Senior Adam Weary chipped in 13 points (5-9 FG) and five rebounds, while redshirt-senior John Brown – plagued by foul trouble for much of the second half – finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

HPU shot a blistering 55.6 percent (10-18) from 3-point territory, but made just 15-of-38 attempts from two-point range (.395). HPU held advantages in assists (15-13) and points off turnovers (23-18), but the Red Raiders won the rebounding battle (38-35) and were +8 (26-18) in bench scoring.

But the biggest advantage for the Red Raiders came at the free throw line, where TTU took 35 to the Panthers’ 20. HPU was called for 33 fouls (23 in the second half), compared to Texas Tech’s 22.

The Panthers jumped out to a 12-5 lead behind two early 3-pointers from Cugini. TTU cut the advantage to 12-10 before HPU responded with a pair of buckets – highlighted by a Brown throwdown – to go back up 16-10 at the 10:11 mark of the first half.

With HPU ahead 17-14, the Red Raiders used an 11-4 run to take back the lead and build a 25-20 edge with 4:22 to play in the stanza. But the Panthers fought right back, as a triple from Cugini and nice finish from Brown tied the score right back up at 25-25.

The Red Raiders led 32-28 with less than 30 seconds to play, but Cugini buried his fourth trifecta of the half to send the Panthers into the locker room down one at 32-31.

HPU shot just 34.4 percent (11-32) from the floor in the period, but hit 5-of-10 3-point attempts (5-10) and neutralized the size advantaged Red Raiders on the glass (18-18). HPU held a 7-2 first half edge in offensive rebounds. Cugini led the Purple & White with 12 first-half points (4-5 3pt FG).

The Panthers scored six of the first eight points of the second half to build a 37-34 edge at the 17:18 mark of the stanza. Texas Tech responded with a 6-0 run to go up 40-37 and kept that lead margin (49-46) with 13:01 to play.

The Red Raiders opened up an eight-point lead (56-48) after going to the line for double bonus free throws on four of five possessions. TTU converted 7-of-8 attempts during that span to build the advantage.

The home team extended its edge to 11 (62-51) with 7:52 to play, but from there, the Panthers began a furious comeback. HPU put together a 17-3 run over the next 4:50, bolstered by a trio of triples from Lindauer, that surged the Panthers back in front, 68-65, with 3:02 to go.

But from there, Texas Tech manufactured a 7-0 run that put the Red Raiders back up 73-68 with 38 seconds to play. Lindauer was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and converted all three attempts to cut it to two (73-71) with 18 seconds to play. However, Texas Tech made all four of its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory in Lubbock.

With the setback, HPU drops to 65-24 all-time in season openers and 5-2 under head coach Scott Cherry. Texas Tech has won 18 of its past 19 non-conference home games.

HPU returns to the Triad to open its 2015-16 home slate vs. North Carolina Wesleyan on Sunday, Nov. 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside the Millis Center.

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