HPU MBB Races Past Runnin¹ Bulldogs, 84-72

• The Panther win marked HPU’s first victory at GWU since 2010 and handed Gardner-Webb its first home loss of the season (7-1)
• John Brown and Adam Weary combined for 46 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and zero turnovers; Weary’s 23 were a career high
• HPU used a 25-6 run midway through the game to pull away; The Panthers held GWU without a field goal for 10:53 during the stretch

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – On the strength of a spectacular 11-minute stretch of basketball, the High Point University men’s basketball team (13-4, 4-1) ran past Gardner-Webb (11-7, 3-2) by the score of 84-72 on Wednesday evening inside Paul Porter Arena.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs led 25-21 with 6:47 to play in the first half, but from there, HPU held GWU without a field goal over the next 10:53, with the 0-for-9 drought lasting until the 15:54 mark of the second half. During that period, HPU out-scored GWU 25-6 in one of the Panthers’ best stretches of basketball this season.

HPU handed Gardner-Webb its first home loss of the season (7-1) and earned its first win in Boiling Springs since 2010. HPU is off to its best start in league play (4-1) since 2006-07 when the Panthers started 6-0.

“Our guys did a great job of sticking to the game plan. We had five guys in double figures and we did an unbelievable job defensively,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “They’re a very good basketball team, and our guys came out focused and took a huge step coming out in the second half to expand the lead. This is a great league road win.”

On the offensive end, the Panthers were led by the sensational duo of junior Adam Weary and redshirt-junior John Brown, who combined for 46 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and zero turnovers.

Weary posted a career-high 23 points (10-14 FG) while tallying five rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes. Brown matched Weary with 23 points (10-17 FG), five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

With his second rebound of the night, Brown reached 500 rebounds for his career. He is now one of just eight players in Big South history to post at least 1,300 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals in a career.

The Panthers shot 55.7 percent (34-61) in the game and knocked down a blistering 64.5 percent (20-31) of their attempts in the second half. The Purple & White dominated inside, holding a 52-26 edge in points in the paint, and forced 14 GWU turnovers that led to 16 points. HPU committed just five turnovers in the game and held a +17 (28-11) advantage in bench scoring.

Junior forward Lorenzo Cugini chipped in 10 points (2-4 3pt FG) and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while senior guard Devante Wallace added 12 points (5-7 FG) and three rebounds.

Junior point guard Haiishen McIntyre added a season-high 11 points (4-7 FG) while combining with Weary and Jorge Perez-Laham to limit GWU star point guard Tyler Strange to just five points. The trio forced Strange, who is in the top-10 nationally in assist/turnover ratio (4.0), into six turnovers in the game.

Gardner-Webb built a 16-12 lead nine minutes into the game, before HPU used a 5-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 17-16. The Runnin’ Bulldogs retook the lead at 23-19 with 7:38 to play in the half and led by that margin (27-23) with 4:20 to play in the period.

But HPU closed the half on a mission, out-scoring GWU 9-0 down the stretch to take a 32-27 lead into the break. Seven of those nine points were registered by Weary. On the other end, the Panthers held GWU without a field goal over the final 6:47 of the half to take the five-point halftime lead.

Brown posted 10 points (5-8 FG) in the half, while Weary matched him with 10 of his own on 4-of-6 shooting. HPU shot 46.7 percent (14-30) overall in the half.

HPU roared out of the gate in the second half and utilized a 12-2 run to extend its lead to 15 (44-29) with 17:09 to play in the game. The HPU defense continued to frustrate GWU, as the Panthers kept making stops and took it to the rim on the other end.

A lay-in from Weary extended the HPU edge to 18 (52-34), but GWU responded with a 9-0 run to cut the advantage to nine (52-43) with 12:03 to play in the game. With HPU up 54-45, the Panthers used an 8-0 run to go back up 17 (62-45). The surge was punctuated by a strong take to the rim from Brown that led to a 3-point play.

The Panther lead swelled to 19 (66-47) on a lay-in from Weary with 8:07 to play and the Runnin’ Bulldogs could not move closer than 12 for the remainder of the game.

HPU returns home to host Longwood on Monday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m. inside the Millis Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3. In addition, streaming audio featuring “Voice of the Panthers” Evan Lepler and Stafford Stephenson will be available on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.