HIGH POINT, N.C. — Redshirt-freshman John Brown scored 28 points and had eight rebounds in his collegiate debut to lead the High Point University men’s basketball team to an 81-73 win over UNC Greensboro on Saturday before a crowd of 1,706 at the Millis Center. Graduate student Allan Chaney scored 15 points with seven boards.
“It was a great way to begin the season against a good team in front of a great crowd at the Millis Center,” said HPU head coach John Brown. “John Brown is John Brown. He can score so many ways and he’s great defensively. Allan was really good and kept his aggressiveness even though he was in foul trouble. We had a lot of guys to a lot of good things.”
Along with Brown’s game-leading 28 points and eight rebounds, he posted game highs of five steals and three blocks. Chaney got in foul trouble early and scored his 15 points in just 16 minutes. Freshman guard Adam Weary was also in double figures with 10 points and senior point guard led the game with seven assists.
The Spartans were led by Trevis Simpson, who finished with team-highs of 18 points and seven rebounds. Kayel Locke scored 17 points with four rebounds and Derrell Armstrong scored 10 points.
HPU led all but 50 seconds of the contest, which was the first between the local rivals since 2003. The Panthers had opened up a 19-point lead early in the second half and withstood a late UNCG run for the victory. It was the season opener for both teams.
Brown scored eight of High Point’s first 10 points as the Panthers jumped out to a 16-9 lead in the first five minutes. HPU led 28-18 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half when the Spartans used a 10-1 run to make it 29-28. Locke and Armstrong each contributed four points to during the run.
Up just one, 31-30, HPU closed the first half with an 8-3 run to go into the locker room with a 39-33 lead. Freshman Lorenzo Cugini scored six of HPU’s final eight points with a three-point play and a three-pointer from the left elbow. He scored all nine of his points in the first half.
Chaney scored the first five points of the second half, igniting a 17-4 HPU run that made the lead 56-37 with 13:42 remaining in the game. He had a lay-up and free throw as well as a put-back lay-up. Brown then scored eight of High Point’s next nine points.
HPU’s lead stood at 14 (60-46) after an alley-oop dunk by Brown from Chaney with just over 11 minutes remaining in the contest. UNC Greensboro then used an 18-6 run over the next 6:55 to trim the Panther lead down to just two, 66-64, with a little over three minutes to go. Locke scored nine points on the Spartan run.
After an HPU timeout, Brown converted a jumper from the free-throw line, Chaney hit a hook-shot from the low-post and Brown had a steal and two free-throws to help the Panthers reopen a six-point lead. High Point went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes to seal the win.
The Panthers will next hit the road to play its second-straight Southern Conference opponent when they take on Appalachian State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game is a rematch of the teams’ ESPN BracketBuster match-up from 2011.