HPU MBB Drops Big South Opener, 83-68, To Coastal Carolina

• Juniors Lorenzo Cugini and Adam Weary each posted 16 points to lead the Panthers
• Coastal hit five of its first six 3-point attempts to jump out to a 15-point lead (38-23) in the first half
• HPU returns to action on Saturday at 1 p.m. with a game at Winthrop

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (9-4, 0-1) fell to visiting Coastal Carolina (10-3, 1-0) by the score of 83-68 on New Year’s Eve inside the Millis Center.

The Chanticleers hit five of their first six 3-point attempts and never looked back, building a 13-point lead (25-12) 10 minutes into the game. HPU could not cut it to less than nine (45-36) for the remainder of the game.

“We just didn’t get off to a good start,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “Coastal jumped on us quick and they’re a very good basketball team. For whatever reason, we didn’t come out with the urgency we needed and I take the blame for that. I thought we had the right game plan but then they started off so hot and built a lot of confidence from there.”

The Chanticleers shot 58.6 percent in the first half and made 7-of-10 3-point attempts. CCU finished at 54.9 percent (28-51) from the field and 66.7 percent (10-15) from 3-point territory. HPU shot 41.4 percent (24-58) in the game and held a 15-7 edge in points off turnovers, but CCU was +5 (33-28) on the glass and held a 26-8 advantage in bench scoring.

Junior forward Lorenzo Cugini posted 16 points (6-9 FG, 3-5 3pt FG) and dished out two assists for HPU, while junior Adam Weary matched Cugini with 16 points while adding four rebounds, three assists and a season-high three steals.

Redshirt-junior forward John Brown contributed 12 points (5-10 FG) and grabbed five rebounds, while senior guard Devante Wallace added 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard Anthony Lindauer chipped in six points (2-4 3pt FG) and four rebounds.

HPU trailed 11-9 six minutes into the game before the Chanticleers got hot, hitting five of their first six 3-point attempts to go up 25-12 at the 10:23 mark of the first half. CCU extended its lead to 15 (38-23) with 3:42 left in the half. CCU led 43-30 with less than two minutes in the half, before HPU scored the final four points to trail by nine (43-34) at the break. The surge included a 3-pointer from Cugini as time expired.

Cugini led the Panthers with 13 points (3-4 3pt FG) in the half.

The Chanticleers used a 9-0 run early in the second half to extend its lead to 16 (52-36) with 17:04 to play in the game. Two free throws from Weary cut the lead to 12 (62-50) with 9:37 to go, but that’s as close as the Panthers could get for the remainder of the game.

HPU now travels to Rock Hill, S.C., to take on Winthrop (6-6, 1-0) on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will air live on the Big South Network. Pre-game coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network begins at 12:30 p.m.

“We have to figure out that every team in this league is good and no game is going to be easy,” Cherry said. “There isn’t going to be a night where you can figure yourself out and get adjusted. Winthrop’s a good basketball team, too. We have to get ready to play, get back on the practice floor and continue to get better.”