• The Panthers fell to Radford, 78-76, on a buzzer beater
• Sophomore Jahaad Proctor tallied 28 points, one shy of his career high
• HPU travels to UNC Asheville on Saturday (Jan. 27)
HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team fell at the buzzer in overtime to Radford, 78-76, Wednesday night (Jan. 24) at the Millis Center.
The game came down to the final seconds in overtime when Radford’s Ed Polite Jr. missed a baseline jumper, but the Panthers (10-10, 5-4 Big South) were unable to come up with the rebound. On the ensuing play, Carlik Jones hit an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer to win the game for the Highlanders (14-8, 7-2 Big South).
The Highlanders shot 58.3 percent in the second half to erase a 14-point halftime lead for the Panthers. Devonnte Holland of Radford scored a layup to give Radford a two-point lead with 14 seconds to go, but sophomore Jahaad Proctor scored a tough bucket of his own with 1.7 seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 65.
“It was a tale of two halves,” HPU head coach Scott Cherry said. “We played really well in the first half, but didn’t come out with the same mindset and intensity level in the second half as the first, let them back in the game and it was a dogfight from there. With good teams like this, you have to sustain the level of defensive pressure and take them out of what they’re trying to do. I thought we let them off the hook.
“But I give this group a lot of credit to fight and come back when they got down late to tie it and send it to overtime. From there it was just one or two plays that dictated the outcome, but we’ll learn from this, we’ll get better and move on to the next one.”
Proctor tallied 28 points, one shy of his career high, while sophomore Brandon Kamga added 14 points. Off the bench, sophomore Luke Vargo matched his season-high with nine points.
Down 12 with 10:54 remaining, the Highlanders went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 1 at 59-58 with 7:54 remaining. Radford’s Ed Polite Jr. drove to the lane and hit a layup with 4:43 to go to give the Highlanders their first lead since 10-9 of the first half and RU had a four-point lead before the Panthers came back to tie the game on Proctor’s drive.
In the first half, Radford hit a three to cut the Panther lead to two at 22-20, but HPU outscored the Highlanders 19-7 the final 8:30 to take a halftime lead of 41-27, the largest lead of the game.
Radford had four players in double figures, led by Jones, who scored 14 points with five assists.
Up next, the Panthers travel to UNC Asheville on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.