• The win kept HPU tied with Charleston Southern for first place in the Big South and clinched HPU a first-round bye in the Big South Championship
• Redshirt-junior John Brown led HPU with 17 points (8-13 FG) and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds
• The Panthers held a commanding 43-4 edge in bench scoring and were +6 (34-28) on the glass
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team sent its seniors out in style with a 67-58 victory over Presbyterian College on Senior Night Saturday in the Millis Center.
With the win, HPU improves to 21-7 on the year and is just one victory away from tying the Division I record for wins in a season. The Panthers remain tied with Charleston Southern for first place in the Big South with a 12-4 league mark. With the victory, HPU clinched a first round bye in next month’s Big South Championship.
Head coach Scott Cherry started all five seniors and in fitting fashion, senior walk-on Quincy Drye hit a jumper to open the game off an assist from fellow senior walk-on Tre Duncan. From there, HPU built an eight point lead midway through the first half and never looked back en route to the team’s 11th home victory this season.
“For these five seniors and two senior managers it was important to get them a win,” Cherry said. “I thought we played well and did a lot of good things. At the start of the second half, we had some wide open looks that didn’t go in and we missed some free throws. But defensively we did a good enough job to keep them from coming back.”
The Panthers shot 50.0 percent (26-52) for the game while limiting Presbyterian to a 43.1 percent (22-51) clip, including a paltry 21.1 percent (4-19) mark from 3-point territory. HPU held a 34-28 edge on the glass and dished out 15 assists to PC’s six.
Redshirt-junior John Brown registered a team-high 17 points (8-13 FG) and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Panthers.
HPU held a commanding 43-4 edge in bench scoring on the day, led by junior Haiishen McIntyre who registered 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting and dished out two assists. Sophomore Anthony Lindauer posted all 10 of his points in a four-minute stretch midway through the first half to help HPU surge in front of the Blue Hose. He made 4-of-6 field goals and grabbed three rebounds on the night.
The two teams played to a 14-14 tie before HPU raced ahead by eight (24-16) on the strength of a 10-2 run. The Blue Hose cut it to five at 28-23 with 5:29 to go in the half, but after some back and forth action, HPU scored the final four points of the half to take a 39-29 lead into the break.
HPU shot 61.5 percent in the half while Presbyterian finished the half at 47.8 percent. Lindauer led HPU with 10 first half points while Brown and McIntyre each registered eight points.
Presbyterian scored the first four points of the second half to cut the HPU lead to six (39-33) two minutes into the second half. But from there, redshirt-senior guard Brian Richardson hit back-to-back lay-ins to highlight an 8-0 run that put the Panthers up 14 (47-33) with 15:07 to go in the game.
HPU remained in front by 14 (58-44) after a jumper from Brown with 8:23 remaining, but PC responded with six-straight points to cut the lead to nine (63-54) with four minutes to play.
But the Blue Hose could not move closer than eight (65-57) for the remainder of the contest as HPU held on in its home finale.
With Saturday’s victory, HPU is now just the third team in the history of the Big South Conference to win 12 league games in three-consecutive seasons.
The Panthers now hit the road for the first of two road games to end the 2014-15 regular season The trip begins with a contest on UNC Asheville Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.