CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The High Point University men’s basketball team hung on for a hard-fought 76-64 win over Austin Peay in the consolation game of the Dr. Pepper Classic on Saturday afternoon at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn. Redshirt-freshman John Brown had 25 points and six rebounds and was named to the All-Tournament team.
“Everyone contributed in this win,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “We were missing Jairus Simms with an injury but Allan Chaney came back from being sick, Devante Wallace played 26 minutes, everyone contributed. Derrell Edwards held their best player (Travis Betran) to 2-for-15 from the floor. This was a great team win and is a great way to go into conference play next week.”
Brown was named to the Dr. Pepper Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 24.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in two games. He scored 23 points with a career-high 16 rebounds against Chattanooga on Friday night.
Chaney missed Friday’s game with an illness but came back to play 16 minutes, scoring 10 points with five rebounds against Austin Peay. Junior Dejuan McGaughy started at point guard in place of Simms and had six assists and a pair of steals with just two turnovers. The Panthers shot 48.0 percent (12-for-25) in the second half.
Austin Peay was led by forward Anthony Campbell, who scored 23 points with nine rebounds, going 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. Will Triggs scored 14 points with eight rebounds and Chris Horton scored 13 points with nine rebounds and six blocks.
High Point survived a back-and-forth second half, clinging to a single-digit lead in the last five minutes. The Panthers were down by two when Edwards hit a layup with 6:23 remaining, starting a 7-0 run that made it 64-59. The Panthers held the lead the rest of the way but the Governors made sure it was never safe.
The teams went nearly point-for-point over the next four minutes. HPU freshman Adam Weary slashed to the basket to make it 70-65 before Horton countered with a layup. HPU’s Chaney scored before both teams missed the front end of a one-and-one foul. On the next Governor possession, Chaney grabbed a huge rebound that turned into a fast-break layup for Brown that extended the Panthers’ lead to seven (74-67) with 59.2 on the clock.
Austin Peay cut High Point’s lead to two points twice in the last minute. Betran hit two free throws and Campbell notched a three-point play to make it 74-72 with 26.5 seconds on the clock. High Point got a pair of free throws from Weary on the next possession before the Governors’ last-ditch effort. They missed three three-point attempts in the last 12 seconds before a Horton putback with 1.2 seconds on the clock got Austin Peay back within two. After a timeout, HPU’s Chaney was able to inbound the ball to Weary and finish the win.
High Point had led 39-34 at halftime before Austin Peay scored the first four buckets of the second. The Panthers finally got on the board with a second-chance jumper by Wallace. That started a 7-0 run including a trey by Branimic Mikulic and a layup by Brown that made it 46-42. It was close the rest of the way.
Brown’s 25 points raised his average to 23.0 ppg over the last five games and 19.1 ppg on the season. He has scored at least 20 points in seven of his 11 games.
High Point begins conference play next week as the Panthers play Winthrop on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C. HPU has won three in a row against the Eagles.