HPU Men’s Basketball Falls at Radford, 73-66

• Redshirt-junior forward John Brown led the Panthers with a game-high 21 points (10-16 FG) and grabbed seven boards
• The Panthers shot 50.9 percent for the game but were held without a field goal for seven minutes late in the second half
• HPU is now tied with Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, UNC Asheville and Charleston Southern for first place in the Big South (5-2)

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University men’s basketball team dropped its first league road contest of the season Thursday night, falling to Radford 73-66 inside the Dedmon Center.

HPU led 59-58 with 8:01 to play, but from there, the Panthers were held without a field goal over the next 7:08 as Radford used a 10-2 run to put the game away down the stretch.

The loss snapped HPU’s five game winning streak, but the Panthers remain tied for first in the Big South at 5-2 with Coastal Carolina, UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern.

The Panthers fell to 14-5 overall, while Radford improved to 13-7 (4-3 Big South).

“We had opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of tonight and you can’t do that against a good team like Radford,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We shot well enough and 14 turnovers isn’t a bunch, but it’s too many against a team like that because they got a lot of transition points in the second half. We did enough to win but we didn’t capitalize offensively down the stretch when we got stops.”

Redshirt-junior forward John Brown led HPU with his eighth 20-point effort of the season. The Jacksonville, Fla., native notched a game-high 21 points (10-16 FG) and tallied seven rebounds and two blocks in 34 minutes.

Sophomore forward Tarique Thompson was excellent for HPU with 15 points and three rebounds while converting all four of his field goal attempts. Thompson also made 6-of-7 free throws on the night.

Junior guard Adam Weary added 11 points while junior Haiishen McIntyre chipped in six points and a game-high six assists. Senior guard Devante Wallace grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and finished with six points (2-4 3pt FG).

HPU shot 50.9 percent (27-53) in the game and 46.7 percent (7-15) from 3-point territory. The Purple & White held Radford to 49.0 percent (24-49), but the Panthers were 0-5 during the late second half drought and turned the ball over four times during the stretch.

The Panthers held a 29-10 edge in bench scoring and were +2 (31-29) on the glass, but HPU committed an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers which led to 19 RU points.

High Point and Radford played to 17-17 draw after 10 minutes of action and Radford took a slim 24-23 lead 6:30 mark of the first half. But from there, the HPU offense started cooking, as the Panthers built a five-point lead (29-24) on the strength of a 6-0 run. The sequence included a pretty lay-in from McIntyre, then a transition 3-pointer from junior forward Lorenzo Cugini on the next HPU possession.

With the Panthers in front 31-26, Radford posted five of the next six points to pull within one (32-31) with 2:34 to go in the half. The Highlanders moved ahead 35-34 with less than a minute to play in the period, but Weary was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to send the Panthers into the half ahead, 36-35.

HPU shot 54.2 percent (13-24) and made 4-of-6 3-pointers in the half, but Radford countered with a 53.8 percent effort (14-26) and a 5-of-9 (.556) performance from 3-point territory. Brown (11) and Thompson (10) each posted double figure scoring totals in the stanza.

The Panthers scored the first five points of the second half to extend their lead to six (41-35), but Radford responded with a 13-2 run to move ahead by five (50-45) with 13:33 to play. From there, HPU raced back with a 6-0 run to take a 51-50 lead after a 3-point play from Thompson. The Panthers extended the lead to three on a runner from Weary (55-52), but Radford responded with a 5-0 run to go back up 57-55 with 9:43 to go.

The Panthers led 59-58 after a Brown lay-in, but from there, the HPU field goal drought began as Radford closed the game on a 15-7 run.

HPU now returns to the Millis Center to battle for first place in the Big South Saturday against UNC Asheville (9-9, 5-2). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The first 300 students at the game will receive a free HPU replica jersey.