HPU Men’s Basketball Battles NC State Wednesday In Raleigh

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (8-2) heads east on I-40 for a marquee non-conference clash with ACC foe North Carolina State on Wednesday inside PNC Arena.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Wolfpack is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3, with Andrew Sanders (play-by-play) and Chris Corchiani (color commentary) on the call. In addition, the game will air live on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with Kevin Burke and Stafford Stephenson providing analysis. Pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. (EST), with the post-game show immediately following the contest vs. the Wolfpack.

• HPU excelled away from the Millis Center last season, posting Div. I program bests in road wins (9) and road winning percentage (.600). The Purple & White are 2-2 on the road so far this season, with wins at Drexel and Gardner-Webb.
• The Panthers are shooting 54.2 percent (32-59) from 3-point territory and 55.0 percent overall (164-298) during their current five-game winning streak.
• Last time out, High Point posted the fourth-highest single game point total in program history, defeating UVa-Wise 111-74 on Sunday inside the Millis Center. The win was HPU’s ninth-straight at home.
• Redshirt-senior John Brown posted 28 points (12-15 FG) in just 22 minutes vs. the Cavaliers. The Big South Player of the Week is averaging 26.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and shooting 70 percent (21-30) from the floor over HPU’s past two games.
• Senior forward Lorenzo Cugini ranks third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.610) and is shooting 73.7 percent (14-19) from deep over the past four games. The Stow, Ohio, native is fourth in the Big South in overall field goal percentage (.570) and t-9th in scoring (14.5 ppg).
• HPU is shooting 78.7 percent (118-150) from the free throw line in home games but just 55.3 percent (42-76) in road contests.
• High Point ranks in the top-20 nationally in both 3-point field goal percentage (.424, 12th) and field goal percentage (.497, 19th).
• Senior guard Adam Weary is up to 994 career points. With six points vs. NC State, he will become the 31st HPU player all-time and seventh in the Div. I era to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
• 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 six steals to become the all-time HPU leader in that category as well.

Redshirt-senior forward John Brown was named the Big South Player of the Week Monday (Dec. 14) for the second time in four weeks after averaging 26.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and shooting 70 percent in wins over UNCG and UVa-Wise. He also earned the honor on Nov. 23 after posting averages of 21.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in HPU’s wins at Drexel and vs. Western Carolina. Brown has garnered the weekly accolade seven times in his career.

North Carolina State was picked to finish eighth out of 15 teams in the 2015-16 ACC preseason poll. The Wolfpack returns 10 letter winners and two starters from a 2014-15 team that reached the Sweet 16 after toppling LSU (66-65) and No. 1 seed Villanova (71-68) in the NCAA Tournament. This season, NC State has won six of its first nine games, including victories over LSU (83-72) in Brooklyn and Big South foe Winthrop (87-79) in PNC Arena. The Wolfpack has dropped contests to William & Mary (85-68), Arizona State (79-76) and Michigan (66-59).

NC State is led by preseason All-ACC second team selection Cat Barber. The junior guard ranks second in the ACC in scoring (20.6 ppg) and assists (5.8 apg). Barber also ranks sixth in the nation in free throws made (84) and is shooting 86.6 percent from the charity stripe. Barber is one of four NC State players that averages at least 10 points. The group includes Caleb Martin (15.2 ppg), Maveric Rowan (13.6 ppg) and Abdul-Malik Abu (10.7 ppg). Junior forward Beejay Anya leads the nation in total blocks (27) and chips in 5.9 ppg.

Wednesday’s game will mark the sixth all-time meeting between the Panthers and the Wolfpack. NC State has won all six meetings, including a a 69-56 victory in the only Div. I matchup on Nov. 22, 2008 in Raleigh. Former HPU great Nick Barbour led the Panthers with 22 points (5-8 3pt FG) and six rebounds in the game, while Melvin Crowder (12) and Eugene Harris (10) each hit double figures for the Purple & White. In the first meeting between the schools, NC State won 33-21, during the 1925-26 season. The next four meetings came over a two decade period from 1927-48.

High Point University has posted a 2-34 record in 36 all-time meetings with ACC opponents. The Panthers most common ACC opponents are Wake Forest (1-11), North Carolina (0-7) and NC State (0-6). Seven of the 11 meetings with the Demon Deacons came in the 1930s and 1940s. HPU’s wins came over Wake Forest (19-13) in 1935 and Virginia Tech (84-75) in 1952. In the most recent meeting with an ACC program, HPU was edged at Clemson, 62-59, last season on Nov. 28, 2014. Haiishen McIntyre posted a career-best 10 assists in the game against the Tigers.

High Point has complied a 324-268 (.547) 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 249-198 (.557) against the rest of the state’s Div. I teams. HPU has posted victories over Western Carolina (75-69), UNCG (90-72 ) and at Gardner-Webb (66-64) this season. The Panthers are a combined 1-27 against Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest.

High Point wraps up its two-game road trip with a contest at William & Mary on Monday (Dec. 21). Tip-off in Williamsburg, Va., is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Tribe has posted a 5-3 record this season.