CLINTON, S.C. — Junior guard Devante Wallace scored 28 points and shot 8-of-9 from three-point range to lead the High Point University men’s basketball team to an 81-74 win at Presbyterian College on Tuesday night. Freshman point guard Jorge Perez-Laham had 12 assists with no turnovers.
Wallace’s eight three-pointers rank second in a single game in HPU’s Div. I history behind Nick Barbour’s 10 against UNC Pembroke on Nov. 14, 2009. HPU hit 14 three-pointers as a team, which is second in a game behind 15-trey effort against Gardner-Webb on Feb. 4, 2012. Perez-Laham’s 12 assists rank second in a game in HPU’s Div. I era behind Mike Jefferson’s 15 against Anderson on Dec. 14, 2007.
“That was a heck of a game by Devante, to go 8-for-9 on three-pointers,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “And we took care of the ball. For Jorge to have 12 assists and no turnovers as a freshman – there aren’t many freshmen who can do that on any level from any conference. We didn’t finish the game the way I wanted but we’ll take a road win any time we can get one.”
Wallace is now shooting 67 percent from beyond the arc in Big South games to lead the league. His 28 points were a career high and tied redshirt-sophomore John Brown for most points by any current Panther. Brown has done it twice and scored 12 points with seven rebounds on Tuesday night. PC, meanwhile, hit just 4-of-16 shots from long range but shot 55.1 percent overall from the floor.
Presbyterian’s William Truss went 10-for-10 from the floor and led his team with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Downing scored 19 points.
HPU improved to 4-3 in Big South play this season with the win and has won four of its last five games, the only loss coming in overtime at VMI. The Panthers are 8-12 overall. Presbyterian dropped its ninth-straight contest to fall to 0-7 in league play and 4-18 overall.
The Panthers used an 8-0 run in the opening half to pull away from the Blue Hose. Trailing 10-9 with 13:47 left in the first, sophomore Adam Weary hit a three-pointer to give HPU a lead that was never relinquished. High Point opened up its largest lead of the half – 16 points – with 2:06 remaining in the first when Brown tipped in a Wallace jumper from the corner. High Point shot 59 percent in the first half with 21 points coming from beyond the arc to lead 41-33 at the break.
Wallace came out and knocked down two three-pointers to open the second half and give HPU a 47-35 lead. The Panthers continued to cruise during the later stages of the game, matching their 16-point lead with 2:16 remaining in the game when Weary drove the lane for a layup to put HPU up 77-61. Presbyterian finished the game on a 13-4 run, hitting three treys, to cut the final to 81-74.
HPU forced 10 turnovers and outscored the Blue Hose 19-8 off turnovers in the win. PC forced six turnovers but just two after the first six minutes of the game. The Panthers dished out 19 assists to match their season-high.
High Point will look to continue its hot streak when the team returns home on Saturday to host Winthrop at 7 p.m. The Eagles currently sit atop the South Division standings with a 4-2 conference mark but will play Radford tomorrow night before heading to HPU Saturday. The Panthers have won the past four meetings against Winthrop dating back to 2011.