Site: Hampton, Va. (Hampton University Convocation Center)
Score: High Point 72, Hampton 58
Records: High Point (7-9), 5-6 Big South, Hampton University (7-9), 6-5 Big South
Next HPU Event: Monday, February 8th vs. Hampton (Convocation Center), 4:00 PM
HAMPTON, Va. — The High Point University men’s basketball team (7-9) (5-6) defeated Hampton 72-58 on Sunday (Feb. 7) afternoon. John-Michael Wright led the way in scoring for HPU as the sophomore had 24 points in the win. Ten out of the eleven Panthers who played on Sunday recorded a rebound as HPU set a single game program record for rebounds in a game against a D-I opponent as they brought down 60 as a team. Ahmil Flowers finished second in scoring with 15 on the night, while Lydell Elmore was the third Panther in double figures as he scored 14 points.
“I thought we did a fantastic job on the boards tonight,” Coach Tubby Smith said following the victory. “Hampton was coming out of quarantine and you could tell they were a little sluggish I know they will play a lot better tomorrow. Coach Joyner’s teams always execute well. We did a fantastic job defensively and especially rebounding the ball.”
The Panthers opened the game by going on a 7-2 run. A jumper by Wright made it 7-2 with 17:03 left in the first. On the next offensive Panther possession, Elmore came down and hit a fadeaway jumper to make it 9-2. The Panthers continued their hot start as Wright hit a three to extend the lead to 13-6 with 14:09 left in the first. After an HPU stop Flowers recovered a tipped ball and shot it from the free-throw line as the shot clock expired. The freshman was fouled as the ball went in for a three-point play, which put High Point up 16-6 with 13:01 to go in the first half. An 8-2 run by the Pirates brought the Panther lead down to four, 18-14 with 11:40 left in the first.
With 8:44 to play in the first, a Flowers three-pointer extended High Point’s lead back out to ten. As the Pirates looked to charge back at the end of the half Alex Holt slammed one down to give HPU a 14-point advantage with 3:16 remaining in the first half, 37-23. An 8-2 run from Hampton to end the half made the score 39-31. The Panthers took an eight-point lead into the break. HPU was outrebounding Hampton 32-15 at halftime. The Panthers had a 14-2 advantage on the offensive boards in the first half as well.
Elmore started the half for HPU with a jumper to give High Point a 41-34 advantage with 19:04 to go in the game. A play later Wright would be fouled in the act of shooting, he split the free throws to make the score 42-35. A 7-0 Hampton run tied the game at 42 with 15:38 to play. The score stayed 42-42 for over six minutes as the two sides exchanged defensive stops. Wright stopped the drought with a key three-pointer which made it 45-42 with 12:18 to go. Two baskets from Elmore extended the HPU lead to eight, 50-42 with 10:02 to play.
A pair of JMW buckets once again gave HPU a double-digit lead, 56-45 with 6:28 left in the contest. At the 5:22 mark, Wright was fouled and hit both free throws to extend the High Point lead to thirteen, 58-45. Wright finished twenty-four points in the win.
“John Michael played well, when we get the ball in his hands good things happen”, Coach Smith said about the sophomore’s play on Sunday. “They made him take some tough shots but when he got to the free throw line he did a good job going 8-10 with eight rebounds. He does everything else well.”
With a 1:04 left in the game, a slam from Elmore put the exclamation mark on the road victory over Hampton for the Panthers.
The Panthers ended the second half with 28 rebounds, outrebounding the Pirates 28-16. HPU outrebounded Hampton 12-1 on the offensive boards in the second half. HPU ended the game with 60 rebounds in the game as a team which is the most in a single game against a D-I opponent in High Point program history. HPU’s 60 rebounds against Hampton today (Feb. 7) is the fifth most rebounds a D-1 team has recorded against a D-1 opponent this season.
The 72-58 victory over Hampton is The Purple and White’s third win in a row. HPU has won four of its last five games.
UP NEXT: High Point stays in Hampton for game number two against the Pirates on Monday, Feb. 8th, 2021. Tip-off is at 4:00 PM, the game will be streamed on ESPN+.