HPU Men’s Basketball Earns 75-66 Win At Drexel

Posted by Press Release on November 19, 2015 at 6:28 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• HPU outscored Drexel 11-2 over the final 4:12 of action
• Redshirt-senior John Brown posted a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds
• High Point has won its last three matchups against CAA foes

PHILADELPHIA – On the strength of a spectacular defensive effort down the stretch, the High Point University men’s basketball team (2-1) picked up a big time road win over CAA foe Drexel, 75-66, on Wednesday night inside the Daskalakis Center.

The score was tied at 64-64 late in the second half, but from there, HPU would limit Drexel to just one field goal over the final 4:12. The 11-2 run to close the game clinched an important victory for the Panthers and moved the Purple & White to 2-1 on the year.

“We got defensive stops when we really needed them in the second half and guys made some big shots,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “Lorenzo Cugini made a huge 3 in the corner and Haiishen stepped up and made critical free throws. Our four seniors came up huge today and that’s what you need. You need senior leadership on the road against a good team.”

Redshirt-senior John Brown led the Panthers with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The Jacksonville, Fla., native also grabbed a season-high nine rebounds and made two steals in 33 minutes on the floor.

Senior guard Adam Weary made eight of his first nine shots on the night and finished with a season-best 18 points, while Cugini added 12 points (4-8 FG), including a critical 3-pointer late in the game.

The Panthers withstood a Drexel team that shot 57.9 percent (11-19) in the second half, including a 5-of-10 mark from 3-point territory. HPU made up the difference by forcing 17 Drexel turnovers while committing just nine. The Purple & White took advantage and held a +16 edge (22-6) in points off turnovers on the night.

High Point shot 46.7 percent (28-60) for the game and held a 31-29 edge on the glass. The Panthers worked the ball inside all night and finished with a sizable +18 edge (44-26) in points in the paint.

The Dragons jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, but the Panthers scored nine of the next 13 points to tie it up (12-12) at the 13:07 mark of the opening half. With Drexel ahead 16-12, HPU made a big move, using a 12-0 run over the next five minutes of action to build a 24-16 edge with 6:58 to go in the half.

A nice running lay-in from Cugini kept HPU ahead by eight (33-25) with 2:16 remaining in the stanza, but Drexel cut it to four (36-32) at the 1:12 mark. However, HPU closed the half strong, with buckets by Brown on its final two possessions to take a 40-32 lead into the half.

The Panthers shot 50 percent (16-32) in the opening half and held a 14-4 edge in points off turnovers. Brown led all scorers with 15 first half points.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native threw down a huge slammer off a great feed from McIntyre to open the second half and put HPU up 10 (42-32). But with High Point ahead 44-34, Drexel got hot from the field and used a 9-0 run to cut the High Point lead to 44-43 with 15:43 to play.

A Drexel triple tied the score at 50-50, but from there, Weary exploded for the next eight points of the game with a series of brilliant slashes to the basket. The surge put HPU back up eight (58-50) with 10:45 to go.

The back and forth action continued, as Drexel answered with a 7-0 spurt, then tied the game at 64-64 on a 3-pointer from Tavon Allen with 4:12 remaining.

But HPU got stops on its next three possessions, and with the Panthers ahead 68-66 with 1:17 to play, Cugini hit a critical 3-pointer from the corner that gave the Purple & White a five-point lead (71-66) it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

With the victory, HPU has now won its past three games against CAA opponents.

High Point returns home to battle in-state foe Western Carolina (1-1) on Saturday (Nov. 21) inside the Millis Center. Tip-off between the Panthers and Catamounts is set for 7 p.m. Pre-game coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network begins at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, call 336-841-9276.


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