HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team cut a 22-point first-half deficit down to five in the final minutes but couldn’t complete the comeback in an 81-72 loss to Radford on Friday night at the Millis Center in High Point, N.C. Both John Brown and Adam Weary scored 21 points for the Panthers.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to put two halves together,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “I thought we did a better job defensively in the second half and we shot 53 percent. We just couldn’t get out of that hole. If we can press more and execute the game plan in both halves I think we’ll be a pretty good team.”
Weary scored 14 points in the second half while Brown scored 13. Junior guard Devante Wallace scored 12 points with six rebounds and two blocks and senior guard Dejuan McGaughy scored 10 points with four assists.
Radford’s Javonte Green led all scorers with 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. R.J. Price scored 15 points and Rashun Davis scored 13 with four assists.
The Panthers fell into a 43-26 deficit at halftime thanks to an 18-for-30 (60.0 percent) shooting performance by Radford in the first half. Green hit all six of his first-half field-goal attempts for the Highlanders, who outscored the Panthers 30-10 in the paint.
The teams played evenly to start the second half and High Point was still down 18 (66-48) when Radford’s Ya Ya Anderson hit a layup with 7:41 remaining. The Panthers started making headway when sophomore forward Lorenzo Cugini hit a three-pointer, starting a 7-0 run to make it 66-55. Trailing by 13 two minutes later, the Panthers scored the next five points all on free throws to cut it to eight (70-62).
High Point got within six points (73-67) when Weary drained a three-pointer from the left side with 2:07 to play. After Davis hit a free throw for the Highlanders, Wallace hit a wide-open three to make it 75-70 with 1:18 on the clock. That was the closest the Panthers would get as Radford went 6-for-8 from the line to close the game.
The game was televised live on ESPNU. It was the first time High Point had a regular-season home game on national TV.
HPU is back in action with a pair of Big South games next week. High Point hosts Longwood on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Millis Center before playing Liberty on the road on Saturday.