High Point MBB Suits Up For Contest At William & Mary Monday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (8-3) wraps up the road non-conference portion of its schedule Monday evening with a trip to William & Mary.

Tip-off inside Kaplan Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday’s game will be streamed online at CAA.tv. In addition, the game will air live on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with Evan Lepler providing analysis. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. (EST), with the post-game show immediately following the contest vs. the Tribe.

• The Purple & White have won two of the past three meetings with the Tribe.
• The Panthers are shooting 53.3 percent (40-75) from 3-point territory during the past six games (5-1).
• High Point started the season 8-2 for the first time in Div. I history and first time overall since 1994-95. HPU is now 8-3 for the second-straight campaign.
• High Point is scoring 1.066 points per possession this season, and that adjusted offensive efficiency leads the Big South and is 86th nationally amongst the 351 Div. I teams.
• Last time out, HPU lost a heartbreaker at NC State, falling to the Wolfpack, 76-73, on a Cat Barber buzzer beater.
• HPU’s three losses in 2015-16 have come to Power 5 schools Texas Tech (Big 12), Georgia (SEC) and NC State (ACC) by a total of 10 points.
• HPU entered the game against the Wolfpack shooting just 55.3 percent (42-76) from the free throw line in road contests. HPU was a much improved 13-of-14 (.929) at NC State.
• Junior Anthony Lindauer posted a season-best 18 points (3-5 3pt FG) while chipping in seven rebounds, and redshirt-senior John Brown posted 17 points, seven rebounds (all offensive) and four blocks.
• HPU is averaging 66.6 points and shooting 42.2 percent in road games compared to 90.2 ppg and 54.9 percent in home contests.
• With a start against William & Mary, Brown will tie Arizona Reid (2004-08) for most career starts in HPU DI history. In addition, he needs just four steals to pass Reid become the all-time HPU leader in that category.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, HPU is 9-2 in games following a loss. The Panthers are 2-0 after a setback this season. After falling at Texas Tech in the season opener, HPU defeated NC Wesleyan, 93-69. After dropping a 49-46 contest at Georgia, High Point upended Morgan State at home, 82-72.

Advanced statistics paint a better picture of the value HPU senior Lorenzo Cugini’s shooting touch provides the Panthers. The Stow, Ohio, product is 26th nationally in effective field goal percentage (.678), which places 1.5x the emphasis on 3-pointers. In addition, Cugini is 21st in the country in true shooting percentage (.698), which is like effective FG% but also accounts for free throw percentage. Whichever way you look at it, it’s easy to see that Cugini is one of the top all-around shooters in the nation.

William & Mary was picked to finish fourth in the 2015-16 CAA preseason poll. The Tribe returns 10 letter winners and four starters from last season’s team that posted a 20-13 record. William & Mary lost star Marcus Thornton – who was taken in the scond round of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics -but has been bolstered this season by a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive unit. The Tribe opened the season with an 85-68 win at NC State and also owns a 55-48 home win over Old Dominion. W&M nearly won at Dayton (L, 69-66) and stayed very competitive at No. 10 Virginia (L, 67-52).

The Tribe shoots 47.5 percent from the floor and is ranked fourth in the nation in 3-point field goal defense (.254). William & Mary is led by 2015-16 preseason All-CAA second team pick Omar Prewett, who averages a team-best 17.4 points per game and pulls down 5.9 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Daniel Dixon chips in 14.4 points per contest, while preseason All-CAA first team pick Terry Tarpey is second in the CAA with 8.8 rebounds per game and also averages 9.3 points. Sophomore David Cohn averages a team-best 3.8 assists/contest.

Monday’s matchup will mark the sixth all-time meeting between High Point and William & Mary, with the Panthers holding a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series. HPU leads 3-2 in the Division I era. The teams first met during the 1939-40 season, with the Panthers picking up a 45-24 win in High Point. HPU has won two of the past three meetings, including a thrilling 66-63 victory last season (12/6/14) in the Millis Center. John Brown posted a game-high 21 points to go along with nine rebounds and five blocks in last season’s matchup.

The Panthers are 105-90 (.538) all-time against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association. The bulk of those meetings have come against new CAA member Elon, with the two teams matching up 162 times during HPU’s NAIA, Division II and Division I days. Elon competed in the Big South from 1999-03 during HPU’s Division I era. High Point posted a 2-0 record vs. CAA teams in 2014-15, recording wins vs. William & Mary (66-63) and at James Madison (80-71). In 2015-16, HPU already has won at Drexel, earning a 75-66 win over the Dragons on Nov. 18 in Philadelphia.

High Point enjoys a week-long holiday break from competition before returning to action next Monday (Dec. 28) with a matchup vs. Div. III foe Methodist. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Millis Center.