High Point MBB upended by Liberty, 80-76

Posted by Press Release on February 7, 2016 at 7:57 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• Redshirt-senior John Brown led the Panthers with 18 points and eight rebounds
• Senior Adam Weary chipped in 17 points and five assists
• Liberty scored on its final nine possessions to win its sixth-straight game

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team could not withstand a furious Liberty run down the stretch, falling to the visiting Flames 80-76 on Saturday night inside the Millis Center.

Liberty (11-15, 8-5) scored on its final nine possessions and hit a pair of critical 3-pointers to fend off the Panthers late in the second half. The Flames have now won six straight contests, while High Point (14-9, 7-5) has dropped five of its past seven games.

“We need to get stops, that’s what it comes down to,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “That’s what we did early in the league season when we started 5-0. Our guys need to feel good again and get back to their winning ways. Sometimes it just takes one win to do that. We need to get our confidence back, and that starts with getting better defensively.”

Liberty shot 52.8 percent (28-53) in the game, including a 15-of-26 mark (.577) in the second half. HPU made 50 percent (14-28) of its attempts in the final stanza, but missed some open 3-pointers at the end of the game while the Flames connected on theirs.

HPU turned 14 Liberty turnovers into a +16 edge (20-4) in points off turnovers for the game, but the Flames enjoyed a balanced scoring attack all game long and finished with a 41-15 advantage in bench scoring. Liberty also used 12 offensive rebounds to generate 11 second chance points.

Redshirt-senior John Brown paced the Panthers in scoring (18) and rebounds (8) while also chipping in three assists and two steals. Senior Adam Weary added 17 points and a team-high five assists, while fellow senior Lorenzo Cugini chipped in 15 points and knocked down five 3-pointers in the game.

Junior Anthony Lindauer was the fourth Panther in double figures, posting 11 points (3-4 FG) and three assists in 26 minutes.

HPU jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Flames responded with a 9-0 run to build an 11-8 advantage at the 13:47 mark of the first half. Back-to-back triples from Cugini and a 3-point play from Brown sparked a 9-0 run that put HPU back up 17-11 and the Panthers led 21-15 after a lay-in from Lindauer.

The Flames answered right back with an 8-2 run to take a 25-23 lead and went up four (31-27) after the team’s fourth 3-pointer of the half. But HPU rallied to notch the final seven points of the half, capped by a beautiful step back jumper from Andre Fox with less than a minute to play.

The Panthers took a 34-31 lead into the break.

HPU extended its edge to five (45-40) after back-to-back triples from Cugini, but with the score tied at 53-53, the Flames blitzed HPU with a 6-0 run to build a 59-53 advantage with 7:28 to go.

The Purple & White bounced right back with six straight to tie it at 59 and took the lead at 61-59 on a lay-in from Weary with 5:36 to play.

With the Panthers trailing 66-64, Weary converted a lay-in to tie it at 66, but from there, Liberty took command with a lay-in and 3-pointer to go up 72-66 with 56 seconds remaining.

Weary nailed a triple to cut the lead to three (74-71) with 41 seconds left. HPU nearly stole the ensuing Liberty inbounds pass, but the Flames gained control and hit their free throws down the stretch to leave the Triad with the victory.

High Point heads to the beach for a rematch with Coastal Carolina on Thursday (Feb. 11) in Conway, S.C. Tip-off between the Panthers and Chanticleers is scheduled for 7 p.m. CCU won the first meeting, 71-68, on Jan. 16 inside the Millis Center.


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