TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The High Point University men’s basketball team led at halftime but Indiana State shot 70 percent from the floor and 100 percent from three-point range in the second half to beat the Panthers, 76-62, on Sunday afternoon at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Ind. Freshman guard Adam Weary led HPU with 12 points.
“I wish the game was only 20 minutes, we could have gone home with a win,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “Give them credit, they came out in the second half and got the lead. We had some defensive breakdowns and they made shots. Indiana State has a good team with a lot of weapons. We’ll refocus for another road trip later this week.”
Behind Weary, redshirt-freshman forward John Brown scored 10 points with three blocks and junior guard Dejuan McGaughy scored 10 points for High Point. Graduate student Allan Chaney grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to go along with six points.
ISU junior guard Lucas Eitel led all scorers with 25 points, going 9-for-9 from the floor and 7-for-7 from three-point range. Freshman guard Khristian Smith scored 18 points and R.J. Mahurin scored 10 for the Sycamores.
Eitel sunk two three-pointers to start the game and scored 14 points (4-for-4 on three-point attempts) in the first half. The Panthers had their first lead of the game when Derrell Edwards hit a fast-break layup, then hit a jumper to make it 9-7. The game continued to go back and forth – it was tied eight times and the lead changed nine times in the first half.
With the score tied 12-12, Chaney hit a pair of free throws for the Panthers. Eitel’s third three-pointer pulled the lead back to Indiana State’s side before senior forward Branimir Mikulic hit a jumper for High Point. Late in the half, the Panthers had two chances at three-point plays but missed the free throws. HPU’s Corey Law hit a second chance layup that made it 26-26. The teams traded baskets, including two free throws by ISU’s Mahurin followed by a dunk from Law that made it 30-30. Weary went through the lane and hit a jumper with 4.5 on the clock to give the Panthers a lead at the break.
Chaney hit a layup to start the second half but the Panthers couldn’t contain Eitel in the early going. He hit two three-pointers in a row to make it 41-36 and the Sycamores led the rest of the way. After a pair of jumpers by Khristian Smith, HPU’s Brown hit a fadeaway, but a second-chance basket by Smith got the Sycamores back up by nine (47-38).
Indiana State pushed its lead to 12 points (52-40) with 12:27 on the clock and led 54-42 before the Panthers cut it back to eight. Weary hit a jumper to make it a 10-point game and Brown rejected a Justin Gant shot on the next possession. Weary hit a layup to make it 54-46 and that was the last time ISU’s lead was in single digits. Seven points in a row by the Sycamores put High Point away for good. Brown finished a three-point play to end the run and make it 61-49, but a three-pointer by Mahurin followed by a long jumper from Manny Arop continued ISU’s momentum.
High Point hit more field goals (25) in the game than Indiana State (24) and the Panthers shot 46.3 percent from the field but Indiana State’s 10 three-pointers were too much to overcome.
High Point dropped to 3-2 overall and Indiana State improved to 4-1 with the result.
The Panthers are back on the road for their next game when they take on Western Michigan on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Kalamazoo, Mich. It’s the first of two games against the Broncos. They come to High Point’s Millis Center on Dec. 16.