HPU Men’s Basketball Hosts Triad Skirmish With UNCG Wednesday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (6-2) hosts Triad neighbor UNCG (3-4) in a braggin’ rights showdown on Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside the Millis Center.

Wednesday’s game will be streamed live on the Big South Network. In addition, the game will air live on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with Evan Lepler and Stafford Stephenson providing analysis. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. (EST), with the post-game show immediately following the contest vs. the Spartans.

The first 200 students at the game will receive a complimentary HPU flag. In addition, halftime will feature a performance from Skyriders.

• The Panthers are 23-2 (.920) in their last 25 home games and have won the last eight contests inside the Millis Center. The eight-game home streak is second longest in the Big South behind Winthrop (10). High Point has posted a 26-5 (.839) record at home since the start of the 2013-14 season, including a 15-3 mark (.833) in league play.
• Last time out, High Point upended Gardner-Webb, 66-64, on Saturday night in Boiling Springs. HPU led by 14 (40-26) at half and seven (66-59) with 47 seconds to play. Although GWU cut it to two and had a last possession to win, HPU got the stop and escaped with the victory.
• With the win, HPU improved to 2-0 in Big South play for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
• Redshirt-senior John Brown (16 pts, 8 reb) and junior Anthony Lindauer (16 pts, 6-9 FG) led HPU against the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Lindauer is averaging 15.0 points and shooting 55.6 percent from beyond the arc in HPU’s past two games.
• The Panthers are shooting 52.6 percent (20-38) from 3-point territory and 52.8 percent overall (93-176) during their current three-game winning streak.
• HPU is shooting 78 percent (71-91) from the free throw line in home games but just 55.3 percent (42-76) in road contests.
• With his four offensive rebounds at Gardner-Webb, Brown became HPU’s all time Div. I leader in offensive rebounds (319), passing former HPU great Arizona Reid. He needs just 10 steals to become the all-time HPU leader in that category as well. With five points vs. UNCG, Brown will pass Pete Collins (1970-74) and move into fifth place on the HPU all-time scoring list.

Through eight games in 2015-16, senior forward Lorenzo Cugini is ranked fourth in the country and first in the Big South in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting a blistering 58.8 percent (20-34) from long distance. He has made at least two 3-pointers in six of eight games, and HPU has posted a 5-1 record in those contests. The Stow, Ohio, native is now seventh all-time at HPU in 3-pointers made (125) and is third in career 3-point field goal percentage (.421). He needs four more triples to pass Zione White and move into sixth place all-time in HPU annals.

High Point has made a concerted effort to work the ball inside this season. Although HPU ranks 44th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.394), the Panthers are 334th out of 351 Div. I teams in 3-point field goals attempted. On the flip side, a total of 61.1 percent of HPU’s points come from two-point range, and that number ranks seventh nationally. High Point has posted at least 40 points in the paint in four games (HPU owns a 4-0 record in those contests).

UNCG was picked to finish sixth out of 10 teams in the 2015-16 Southern Conference preseason poll. The Spartans opened the season with wins over Greensboro College (86-69) and Chowan (81-60) and defeated Jacksonville (71-69) on Nov. 29. UNCG has dropped contests at UCF (65-54) and North Carolina A&T (77-69) and home games to Navy (70-66) and IPFW (64-58). UNCG is shooting a solid 35.1 percent from 3-point territory on the year and is ranked ninth in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.9).

Freshman guard Francis Alonso leads the team with 12.4 ppg and is shooting 47.4 percent (27-57) from the floor. Alonso is one of four Spartans that is averaging at least 10 points per contest. The group also includes senior Kayel Locke (11.1), redshirt-junior RJ White (10.2) and sophomore Marvin Smith (10.1). White also ranks third in the SoCon in rebounding (7.2 rpg), while junior guard Diante Baldwin is third in the conference with 4.3 assists per contest.

HPU and UNCG will meet for the 11th time Wednesday. High Point holds an 8-2 advantage (.800) in the all-time series, including a 4-1 mark (.800) in the Div. I era. HPU has won five of the last six meetings between the teams. The Spartans have never won at the Millis Center. HPU and UNCG first matched up during the 1974-75 season with the Purple & White earning an 82-68 win in High Point. In the most recent contest, HPU won last year’s meeting, 76-68, on Dec. 1, 2014, with John Brown posting a game-high 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

High Point has complied a 323-264 (.550) record all-time against Div. I programs hailing from the Tar Heel State. HPU’s most common opponents are Elon (86-76, .531), Appalachian State (60-36, .625) and Western Carolina (40-22, .645). The majority of those meetings came during the NAIA era. High Point is 76-70 (.521) against Big South programs from North Carolina and 248-194 (.560) against the rest of the state’s Div. I teams. HPU has posted victories over Western Carolina (75-69) and at Gardner-Webb (66-64) this season.

HPU hosts Div. II opponent UVa-Wise on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 13, 4 p.m.) inside the Millis Center. The game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network, with coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network beginning at 3:30 p.m.