HPU Men’s Basketball Ho Ho Ho-lds Down UVA-Wise, 111-74

Posted by Press Release on December 13, 2015 at 8:35 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

• HPU’s 111 points marked the fourth-most in the program’s single-season history
• Redshirt-senior John Brown posred a game-high 28 points (12-15 FG) and five rebounds in just 22 minutes on the floor.
• HPU was +42 (64-22) in points in the paint and held a 31-0 advantage in points off turnovers

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (8-2) decked the halls of the Millis Center with an outstanding offensive performance Sunday afternoon while wrapping up a 111-74 victory over UVa-Wise in the program’s annual holiday game.

The Panthers dashed and danced their way up and down the floor while shooting 59.1 percent (39-66) from the field. The Purple & White rocked around with some Christmas threes – making 6-of-11 attempts (.545) from beyond the arc – and distributed a bunch of Santa’s little helpers with a season-high 24 assists.

HPU also proved that all they wanted for Christmas was twos – as 64 of the team’s 111 points came in the paint. High Point is now 6-0 this season when at least 40 of their points come from inside the key.

The 111-point feast marked the fourth-highest single-game scoring total in program history.

“In the middle of final exams, I think we’ll take that win and move on,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We weren’t perfect and weren’t great at times, but I thought our bench play was huge. Guys gave us a great effort in the second half and did a fantastic job in stretching the lead out. It shows the team depth that we have and we’re going to need it throughout the season.”

The Purple & White played the Grinch to UVA-Wise’s Whoos, making 12 steals while turning those into a spectacular present – a 31-0 edge in points off turnovers. HPU forced 19 Cavalier miscues on the afternoon.

10 Panthers played at least 10 minutes in the game, while nine wassailed through the Cavalier defense with at least six points. HPU’s bench scored 55 of the team’s 111 points.

Redshirt-senior John Brown led the Panthers with a stat line that was downright naughty and quite nice. The Jacksonville, Fla., native posted 28 points (12-15 FG) in just 22 minutes, while adding five rebounds, two steals and a block.

Brown also registered a second-half dunk that arose such a clatter, HPU fans sprang to their feet to applaud the rim rattler.

With his first basket of the second half, Brown passed Brett Speight and moved into fourth place on the HPU all-time scoring list. He has now posted 1,886 career points.

Senior Lorenzo Cugini – who entered the game ranked first nationally in 3-point field goal percentage – rang home 2-of-4 of his 3-point attempts and packaged together a 14-point effort on 5-of-8 shooting.

Senior Adam Weary spread tidings of great joy with a career-high seven assists in 24 minutes, while junior forward Tarique Thompson stuffed his scoring stocking with nine points on 3-of-3 shooting.

Junior Jorge Perez-Laham said “Feliz Navidad!” to his Panther teammates, as the Puerto Rico product distributed five assists and no turnovers to go along with six points (2-2 FG). And in true Mistletoe form, freshman Ricky Madison kissed the glass with six rebounds to go along with a career-best 13 points (3-5 FG, 7-8 FT).

Finally, sophomore Austin “Jack Frost” White nipped at the noses of Cavalier players all game in a strong defensive effort while posting eight points and two rebounds in his first career start.

UVa’s five Wise men presented their gift of 3-point shooting in the game’s first four minutes to jump out to an 11-9 lead. HPU responded with an 8-2 run (run Rudolph) to jump back in front (17-13) at the 13:38 mark of the first half.

The Panthers extended their edge to 10 (30-20) on a runner from freshman Andre Fox, but from there, Wise used the gift that kept on giving, hitting three straight 3-pointers, as well as a pair of acrobatic lay-ins, to move back in front, 33-30, with 8:45 to go in the half.

From there, HPU turned the Cavalier offense frosty for the remainder of the half. High Point used a 15-3 run over the next five minutes to build an 11-point lead and rode a sensational sleigh of shooting into the half, taking a nine-point lead (52-43) at the break.

The Cavaliers cut the Panther edge to three (52-49) on the strength of three 3-pointers just one minute into the second half, but after that, it would be a silent night for the Cavaliers from deep. UVa-Wise made just one 3-pointer for the final 19 minutes of the contest and HPU took advantage.

High Point put together a festive 20-4 run over the next six minutes to build a 19-point lead (72-53) and the Panthers snow-stormed ahead by 30 (93-63) with 4:08 remaining. From there, the coaching staff rested its merry gentlemen and emptied the bench for the final minutes in preparation for Wednesday’s matchup with NC State.

Truly the angel on top of the tree, freshman walk-on Dexter Gooding came in for the final two minutes of play and posted seven points while making his first three collegiate buckets.

And as the final horn sounded and the fans strode out of sight, HPU players wished a Cherry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


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