HPU Men’s Basketball’s Second-Half Comeback Falls Short At Campbell

BUIES CREEK, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team came back from a 15-point halftime deficit to tie the game at 71-71 on a pair of Dejuan McGaughy free throws, but Campbell’s Reco McCarter hit a three-pointer to lift the Camels to a 74-71 win on Wednesday night at Gore Arena in Buies Creek, N.C. Sophomore Adam Weary led HPU with 22 points.

“Our team put up a tremendous effort, down 15 at halftime and to come back like we did,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “We gave ourselves a chance on the road, which is what you want to do. We had a couple of chances at the end that didn’t go but it’s going to be a positive for our guys to build on.”

Weary’s 22 points were a new career high and he hit a pair of three-pointers. Redshirt-sophomore John Brown had his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds and senior Dejuan McGaughy scored a season-high 15 points with three assists and three steals. Sophomore Lorenzo Cugini scored 10 points and senior Derrell Edwards dished six assists.

McCarter led Campbell with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Antwon Oliver scored 13 points off the bench, including three treys. The Camels got 26 points from their bench.

Down 40-25 at halftime, the Panthers cut it to eight points (44-26) when Brown hit a jumper with 15:45 left. The Panthers continued to chip away at Campbell’s lead over the next 10 minutes, getting it to two points when Weary hit three shots in a row – a layup, a long jumper (originally scored as a three-pointer) and then a trey – to make it 69-67. Campbell’s Leek Leek hit a pair of free throws to make it a four-point game again.

Down 71-67, Edwards hit a pair of free throws to cut it to two points. After Campbell’s Luke Moyer missed a three-point attempt, McCarter got the rebound but McGaughy was able to steal it and was fouled near midcourt. He hit both free throws to tie the game at 71-71 with 2:33 remaining.

A minute later, McCarter hit his third trey of the game, which proved to be the final basket and move the Camels ahead for a 74-71 final.

The final minute was tense as the Panthers forced a shot clock violation and had the ball with 24 seconds left. Brown’s three-point attempt missed but Weary got the rebound and HPU had another chance with 10 seconds on the clock. Cugini’s three-point miss bounced off the rim and over the backboard. With seconds remaining, HPU forced a turnover on an inbounds pass but Edwards’s last-second shot wasn’t in time.

HPU outscored Campbell 46-34 in the second half and shot 65.4 percent from the floor in the period. The Camels had used hot shooting to gain a 40-25 lead at halftime, shooting 48.5 percent from the floor with seven three-pointers in the first half.

High Point fell to 4-10 overall and 0-1 in the Big South while Campbell improved to 7-9 overall and 1-0 in league play.

High Point is back at the Millis Center on Friday when it hosts Radford in a 7 p.m. game that will be nationally televised on ESPNU. It’s the first time one of HPU’s regular-season home games will be televised on national TV. It’s a White Out sponsored by Murray White Insurance and all fans will get a free HPU T-shirt.