HPU men’s hoops releases 2016-17 non-conference schedule

Posted by Press Release on August 1, 2016 at 10:25 am under College | Comments are off for this article

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team has released its 2016-17 non-conference schedule, which includes a multi-team home tournament and marquee road tilts at Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Clemson.

2016-17 Non-Conference Schedule

The Panthers will play seven non-conference games inside the Millis Center and 16 home contests overall, marking the most regular season home games for the Panthers since the 2001-02 season.

In addition, the Purple & White will hit the road for five out-of-conference away contests and 14 road games in total.

“Our schedule is very competitive, with games against high majors and quality home and homes we schedule against teams from good conferences,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We’re shooting for 15 or 16 home games every year. When you look around the country, a lot of schools have had success because of the amount of home games they can schedule. With our group of new players and the youth of our team, playing at home early in the season with the support of our fans is an excellent setup to have.”

The Panthers open the season on Saturday, Nov. 12, with a home contest against Averett University. HPU won the only previous meeting between the schools on Dec. 10, 2012, inside the Millis Center.

High Point opens road play with a short trip north to Blacksburg to take on ACC foe Virginia Tech on Nov. 15. The Hokies are coming off a 20-15 season (10-8 ACC) and are expected to contend for an NCAA Tournament berth in head coach Buzz Williams’ third season leading the program.

The Purple & White return home Nov. 18-20 to host a three-game round robin tournament against a trio of teams. The Panthers open the event with a Friday night tilt against intra-Triad rival UNCG. The Panthers have won six of the past seven meetings with the Spartans, including a 90-72 victory last season in Millis.

In addition to UNCG, HPU also will host Navy and North Dakota State during the tournament. NDSU went 20-13 in 2015-16 and has won 20 games in each of the past four seasons. The Bison made the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2015 and upset No. 5 seed Oklahoma during the 2014 Big Dance.

“The tournament is the marquee event of our schedule, with three home games against three quality teams,” Cherry said. “We’ve played NCAA Tournament teams over the past few years like Wofford and Stephen F. Austin and that will continue this season. A lot of these teams on our schedule will compete for tournament bids. North Dakota State has been very good and the UNCG games have been a great series for our fans. We’re looking forward to continuing that. With Navy coming in, we’d like to do a type of Armed Services recognition game to show our support for the military. There’s going to be a lot of opportunities that weekend to watch some high quality basketball in our building. We’re thankful to our administration for helping us make this happen.”

After the tournament, HPU begins a two-game road swing with a Nov. 25 contest at Clemson. The Panthers and Tigers last met in 2014, with Clemson narrowly escaping (62-59) inside Littlejohn Coliseum.

High Point will remain on the road to battle Morgan State on Nov. 28 in Baltimore. The game marks the back half of a home-and-home series, as HPU upended the Bears 82-72 last season in the Millis Center.

High Point heads back to the Triad on Dec. 3 to complete another home-and-home series that kicked off last season. HPU hosts Drexel in a Saturday night showdown after the Panthers beat the Dragons in Philadelphia last season, 75-66.

The Purple & White then depart to the Music City for a battle with Vanderbilt on Dec. 6 in Memorial Gymnasium. The Commodores edged the Panthers 81-75 in the only meeting between the schools in 2002. Vanderbilt is looking to make an impact in the SEC this season under first year head coach Bryce Drew.

HPU wraps up non-conference home action with back-to-back affairs against Ferrum (Dec. 11) and North Carolina Wesleyan (Dec. 16).

High Point then completes non-conference play Dec. 19 with a contest at Western Carolina. The Panthers knocked off the Catamounts 75-69 last season in the Millis Center.

The Panthers will compete for their fifth-straight Big South regular season championship in 2016-17 and a berth in the postseason for the fifth-consecutive year. The Purple & White have won at least 20 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1994-95 and lead the Big South with 50 conference victories over the past four campaigns.

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