HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team earned a 96-53 win over Bridgewater College in an exhibition game on Friday night at the Millis Center. Redshirt-sophomore John Brown led HPU with 24 points and nine rebounds as the team prepared for its opener against UNC Greensboro next Friday.
Two sophomores – Adam Weary and Lorenzo Cugini – each scored 12 points for the Panthers. Cugini shot 5-for-6 from the floor and collected six rebounds. Graduate student Allan Chaney scored nine points with nine rebounds.
“It was a little bit sloppy in the first half but we got the win that we expected,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry, now in his fifth season. “We have a talented offensive team. We need a better commitment and focus on the defensive end. It was a good win and we saw a lot that we’ll need to look at in the film, a lot to work on this week.”
Chaney scored seven of HPU’s first nine points and the Panthers jumped out to an early lead they would never relinquish. After a three-pointer by Weary, Brown got a steal on the defensive end and took it the length of the floor for one of his four dunks of the game, making it 19-5 with 13:43 left in the first half.
Bridgewater worked hard all over the court to force 10 HPU turnovers in the first half, keeping the Panthers’ lead under 20 most of the way. Another dunk by Brown made it 28-9 with 9:45 remaining, but HPU’s gap didn’t eclipse 20 until senior Derrell Edwards hit a free throw that made it 45-24 with 20 seconds left in the half. The Eagles’ Matthew Hunter hit a layup that made it 45-26 going into the break.
High Point pulled away in the second half, starting on a 16-4 run that made it 62-30 on a Weary three-pointer with 15:34 left. Twelve High Point players got on the floor in the half, with 10 scoring. The Panthers’ lead stretched to 40 (80-40) with just under five minutes to play and got up to 45 in the final minute before Bridgewater closed with a pair of free throws by Ed Reddick.
Reddick finished with a team-high 12 points for the Eagles. Tavis Stapleton scored 11 points with six rebounds.
High Point plays its first regular season game against UNC Greensboro on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“We have a lot to work on this week before we play UNCG next Friday,” said Cherry. “It was a great game last year and I expect it to be close again. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of fan support but we’ll be on their court playing against a tough team.”
Last season, HPU opened with an 83-71 win over the Spartans at the Millis Center. HPU went 17-14 overall and 12-4 in the Big South in 2012-13, the team’s best season since joining NCAA Div. I in 1999-2000.