High Point Men’s Basketball Knocks Off Longwood 90-66 In Big South Opener

• HPU led by as many as 30 points and led for 39:08 of a possible 40 minutes of the game
• Redshirt-senior John Brown tallied a career-high seven assists to go along with 18 points and nine rebounds
• High Point shot a season-best 57.9 percent (11-19) from 3-point range

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (5-2, 1-0) opened Big South play with a complete effort on both ends of the floor, upending Longwood 90-66 on Wednesday night inside the Millis Center.

HPU led for 39:08 of a possible 40 minutes while putting together an outstanding offensive performance. The Panthers shot 54.1 percent (33-61) for the game and made a season-best 57.9 percent (11-19) of their 3-point attempts.

Longwood (3-5, 0-1) took their first lead (27-26) with 7:58 to go in the first half, but from there, HPU went on a 15-0 run and never looked back.

“We were scoring early but we weren’t getting any stops,” head coach Scott Cherry. “For the last seven and a half minutes of the first half, we locked down defensively. It was a matter of executing the game plan, doing what we planned on doing, and doing it better.”

The Panthers moved the ball well all night and registered a season-best 24 assists in the game. Defensively, the Purple & White limited Longwood to 45 percent (18-40) shooting in the game and forced 19 turnovers while making 11 steals.

HPU held a +14 (22-8) edge in points off turnovers and enjoyed a +10 (19-9) turnover margin for the game. The Purple & White are averaging 10.5 steals over the past two contests.

Redshirt-senior John Brown led the Panthers with another stat-stuffing performance. The Jacksonville, Fla., native registered 18 points (5-7) in just 24 minutes of work while distributing a career-best seven assists. Brown also grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and made 8-of-9 free throw attempts.

Senior Lorenzo Cugini notched 16 points for the second-straight game and shot a sizzling 80 percent (4-5) from beyond the arc while junior guard Anthony Lindauer broke out of a shooting slump while tying a season-high with 14 points (3-5 3pt FG).

Senior guard Adam Weary recorded 11 points (5-8 FG) and junior forward Tarique Thompson registered eight points (4-6 FG) and five rebounds in 17 minutes.

The Panthers jumped out to a 10-5 lead and held a 20-12 edge after a triple from Cugini at the 13:19 mark of the opening half. Longwood answered back with a 14-4 run to take their first lead (27-26) with 7:58 to play in the period. The Lancers hit five of their first six 3-point attempts.

But HPU would not trail for long, as the Panthers responded with the blitzing 15-0 run to blow open a 41-27 lead with 4:16 to go in the stanza. The Purple & White extended the edge to 17 (46-29) on a 3-pointer from Weary and took a 48-32 lead into the break.

Longwood cut the HPU lead to 12 (53-41) at the 14:12 mark of the second half, but that’s as close as the Lancers would get for the remainder of the game. With High Point leading 63-50, HPU went on 12-0 run that put the Panthers up 75-50 at the 7:38 mark. The surge essentially clinched the game for the Purple & White. High Point took its largest lead of 30 (86-56) on a lay-in from Thompson with 4:02 remaining.

With the victory, HPU has now won 23 of its last 25 home games, including eight in a row. The Panthers are now 4-3 in Big South openers under Coach Cherry and 11-6 overall.

HPU posted 90 points in a regulation league game for the first time since a 96-point effort in a home game against VMI on Jan. 23, 2013.

High Point now hits the road for its Big South road opener at Gardner-Webb on Dec. 5 (7 p.m.). The game will air on the Big South Network, with coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network beginning at 6:30 p.m.