• Lorenzo Cugini posted a season-high 20 points (7-12 FG) and eight rebounds
• Haiishen McIntyre notched 11 points, including the bucket to send the game to OT
• HPU’s four losses this season have come by a total of 13 points
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (8-4) erased an eight-point deficit with 6:44 to play in regulation but could not secure victory in overtime, falling to William & Mary, 78-75, on Monday night inside Kaplan Arena.
Senior Adam Weary hit a lay-in to put the Panthers up 65-64 with 17 seconds to play in regulation, but William & Mary’s Daniel Dixon hit a 3-pointer to put the Tribe up by two (67-65) with seven seconds left. HPU got the ball up the floor immediately and Haiishen McIntyre laid it in with a second left to send the game to OT.
Trailing 75-73 with 34 seconds to go in overtime, Weary converted a pair of free throws to tie the score, but Dixon again was good from deep with four seconds left to send William & Mary (7-3) home with the win. The Tribe have now won 12 straight non-conference home games.
The Panthers have lost their last two games by a combined six points, with both setbacks coming in the final four seconds. The team’s four losses have come by a total of 13 points.
“This was a good basketball game between a pair of good teams,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We need to execute better down the stretch to pull out one of these games. It came down to one play at the end. Against NC State, we let one slip away and we kind of felt that way tonight as well. But credit to William & Mary for making big shots. It comes down to making stops and we’re going to have to do that in conference play.”
High Point and William & Mary played even in nearly every statistical category in a great basketball game in Williamsburg. HPU shot 42.6 percent (26-61) in the game, including a 48 percent mark (12-25) in the second half, while the Tribe shot 42.4 percent (28-66) on the night and made 48.3 percent of its shots (14-29) in the second half. The Tribe earned separation in OT by making 3-of-6 attempts while HPU was 2-of-6.
The Tribe won the rebounding battle (41-38) and the teams were tied in both assists (16-16) and steals (9-9). The Panthers made 16-of-19 free throw attempts (.842) while the Tribe made 66.7 percent (12-18) of its shots from the charity stripe.
Senior Lorenzo Cugini notched a season-high 20 points (7-12 FG, 4-7 3pt FG) in the game and grabbed eight rebounds, while junior Tarique Thompson added a season-best 13 points (6-8 FG) and grabbed four rebounds in a season-best 18 minutes.
McIntyre also hit a season-high in points (11) and distributed five assists in 29 minutes, while Weary chipped in 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Redshirt-senior John Brown finished with eight points (6-7 FG) and was 1-of-6 from the floor, while grabbing six rebounds and distributing three assists. It marked the fewest field goals by Brown since a Feb. 18, 2015 win over Gardner-Webb in the Millis Center.
High Point and William & Mary played to an early 8-8 tie, before HPU put together an 8-0 run – capped by a Jorge Perez-Laham 3-pointer – to build a 16-8 advantage. William & Mary cut the lead to four at 18-14, but HPU used a 10-4 surge to move the edge up to 10 (28-18) at the 5:46 mark of the opening half.
HPU built the lead as high as 11 (32-21), but the Panthers could not score over the final 3:31 of the period. The Tribe hit a pair of 3-pointers during the stretch and closed the half on an 8-0 run. The Panthers led by three (32-29) at the break.
The Tribe posted the first four points of the second half to take their first lead (33-32) since the 18:12 mark of the first half. But they would lead for just 41 seconds, as the Panthers bounced right back with a 7-0 run to go back up by six (39-33). The sequence included an impossible finish from Brown that led to a 3-point play.
With HPU leading 44-38, the Tribe went on their run, utilizing a 16-2 spurt to take the lead by as many as eight (54-46) with 8:55 to go.
With the Tribe ahead 58-50, Lindauer knocked home a triple and Weary converted a lay-in to tie the score at 58-58 in less than 2:30 of action. Cugini hit a 3-pointer to put the Panthers up three (63-60) with 2:01 to go, but William & Mary scored seven of the final nine points to take a 67-65 edge with seven seconds left in regulation and hold on for the OT victory.
Brown’s start on Monday night marked the 100th game he’s started in an HPU uniform, tying Arizona Reid for most all-time in the Panthers’ Div. I era.
High Point now will take a week-long holiday break from competition before returning to action next Monday (Dec. 28) with a matchup vs. Div. III foe Methodist (4-5). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Millis Center.