HIGH POINT, N.C. — Four players scored in double-figures led by redshirt-freshman John Brown’s 17 points in the High Point University men’s basketball team’s 88-60 win over Longwood on Wednesday night at the Millis Center. Junior guard Dejuan McGaughy went 4-for-4 from three-point range en route to 14 points.
“We picked up our defensive intensity in the second half and that was the key,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “We forced 16 turnovers in the second half and got in transition. That’s when you saw John [Brown] start to get some space and be able to make baskets and make good passes. We’re going to run most of our offense through John and Allan Chaney. It’s obvious when we get 48 points in the paint but our shooting was great tonight too.”
Along with the 16 forced turnovers in the second-half, the Panthers shot 57.9 percent (22-for-38) from the floor and 55.6 percent (5-for-9) from three-point range to outscore the Lancers, 53-30, in the frame.
Brown’s 17 points came on 8-for-13 shooting. Graduate student Allan Chaney chipped in with 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. McGaughy posted five assists in addition to his 14 points. McGaughy’s four three-pointers were a new career-high and most by any Panther this season.
Freshman forward Michael Kessens led the Lancers with a game-high 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting. He scored 13 points in the first half. Junior guard Tristan Kerry finished with 16 points and a team-high six rebounds.
High Point improved to 10-10 overall and 5-3 in the Big South, which is tied with VMI for the North Division lead. Longwood fell to 3-19 overall on the season and 0-8 in Big South play.
The first half went back-and-forth. High Point gained a 12-point advantage (26-14) on three-pointer by McGaughy with 7:09 left. Longwood corralled the Panthers with a 16-8 run, closing the margin to three points with one minute left in the half. On HPU’s last possession, McGaughy threaded a pass to Brown down low, who hit a layup to make it 35-30 at the break.
The Panthers flew out of the gate in the second half, going on a 15-6 run and the game was never in doubt after that. McGaughy hit a three-pointer to start it. Kessens answered with a layup before Weary hit a jumper. Brown then went on his own run, scoring three of HPU’s next five buckets while assisting on the other two. It was 50-36 at that point.
The Panthers continued to extend their lead throughout the rest of the half, pushing it to as high as 28 (88-60) on a jumper by senior Landon Harris with 36 seconds remaining.
The Panthers as a team shot a season-high 56.3 percent (9-for-16) from behind the arc, their nine treys marking a season high. HPU finished with a 43-23 edge in rebounds, which led to a 21-5 advantage in second-chance points. The Panthers posted 22 assists, marking the third time this season with at least 20 helpers.
High Point is back in action at the Millis Center on Saturday, taking on the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.