BOONE, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team stormed to an 86-64 victory over Appalachian State on Tuesday evening at the Holmes Center in Boone, N.C. Redshirt-freshman John Brown led High Point with 22 points and seven rebounds.
“We executed well to get that win tonight. That was an athletic Appalachian State team, they have some guys who can score,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “We have a great group of guys with great chemistry right now. It has been really fun bringing in so many new guys and seeing them gel together. We have some areas to improve, like free throws and defense, but I have a lot of confidence in these guys right now.”
High Point improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Appalachian State dropped to 1-1 with the loss.
Brown also posted four blocks and two steals while shooting 9-for-15 from the floor. HPU graduate student Allan Chaney scored 18 points with six rebounds. Junior guards Dejuan McGaughy and Derrell Edwards scored 15 points and 13 points, respectively. Edwards went 5-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 from three-point range.
Appalachian State sophomore Jay Canty led all scorers with 23 points and had a team-high five rebounds. Freshman guard Chris Burgess scored 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting and junior Tevin Baskin scored 10 points.
The Panthers came out strong in the first half with Brown getting a block, a basket and a rebound in the first two minutes. Appalachian State had it tied, 4-4, before a Brown dunk gave the Panthers the lead they would never relinquish. On the ensuing Appalachian State possession, Jamaal Trice missed a three-pointer, Brown grabbed the rebound fed it to McGaughy for a fast-break jumper.
High Point maintained a single-digit lead over the next eight minutes before a huge run put the Panthers way ahead going into halftime. After Appalachian State’s Tab Hamilton hit a jumper to make it 18-13, Simms threaded a pass down low to Brown, who hit a layup to make it 20-13. That ignited a 28-6 HPU run that was highlighted by a consecutive jumper and three-pointer by freshman Adam Weary, a coast-to-coast layup by Justin Cheek, a long three-pointer by Chaney and a reverse dunk by Brown that made it 46-19.
Appalachian State got some momentum back at the end of the first half as it scored seven of the last nine points. Canty had a three-point play and a three-pointer in the final minute to make it 48-26 at halftime.
The second half began with a jumper from the elbow by Chaney followed by a layup from the Mountaineers’ Canty. The Panthers then got back-to-back treys from Edwards and Chaney and, two minutes later, led by 30 (63-33) when Edwards hit a fast-break layup.
The Panthers led by 30 again (65-35), before a three-pointer by Burgess, then consecutive three-point plays by Baskin and Canty cut HPU’s lead to 21 (65-45) with 12:25 remaining. That was the closest the Mountaineers got as the teams played evenly the rest of the way.
Brown had another highlight-reel dunk when Edwards stole the ball, took it down and banked a pass off the glass for Brown to slam home. That made it 84-58 with 2:26 on the clock.
High Point shot 57.4 percent (35-for-61) from the field and 47.1 percent (8-for-17) from three-point range in the game. The Panthers held Appalachian State to 33.3 percent (9-for-27) from the floor.
The Panthers are back in action on Saturday when they host William & Mary at the Millis Center at 7 p.m.