• High Point’s comeback bid fell short at UNC Asheville, 84-77
• All five Panther starters scored in double figures
• Senior Jordan Whitehead had a career-high 12 points
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team’s second-half comeback bid at UNC Asheville fell short, 84-77, Saturday (Jan. 27) at Kimmel Arena in Asheville.
Down 43-26 at halftime, the Panthers (10-11, 5-5 Big South) stormed out of the locker room for the second half, opening the frame on a 9-2 run and causing turnovers on each of UNC Asheville’s first three possessions. High Point closed the gap to five at 79-74 with 25 seconds left on a jumper by sophomore Jahaad Proctor, but the Bulldogs (14-9, 7-3 Big South) converted five free throws to extend the lead back to seven and close out the game.
“I think our team grew up today, in terms of responding to a difficult situation,” HPU head coach Scott Cherry said. “They listened to what we told them as coaches, they got together at halftime and I’m proud of how they responded in the second half. We have to make free throws, because those misses were huge. Overall, I think we took a big step today.”
All five Panther starters scored in double figures, the first time HPU has had five in double-digits since the Presbyterian game (Jan. 15). HPU was led by junior Andre Fox, who tallied 18 points. Sophomore Brandonn Kamga added 16, while freshman Justyn Mutts recorded 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior Jordan Whitehead scored a career-high 12 points, while the fifth Panther in double figures was Proctor with 10.
In the first half, the Panthers shot 36.0 percent and the Bulldogs scored 10 points off of six HPU turnovers. Leading 9-7 four minutes into the game, UNC Asheville used a 12-1 run to open up a 13-point lead and went in at the break leading by 17, 43-26.
UNC Asheville shot 54.9 percent from the field, including 58.1 percent in the first half. The Bulldogs were 20-28 from the free throw line (71.4 percent), while the Panthers were only 16-29 (55.2 percent).
Ahmad Thomas led four Bulldogs in double figures with 23 points, while MaCio Teague added 21, including 11 from the free throw line.
The Panthers return to action Thursday (Jan 27) when they travel to Charleston Southern. Tip-off in North Charleston, S.C., is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.