HPU Men’s Basketball Hosts Methodist Monday in Millis

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (8-4) completes its 2015-16 non-conference slate Monday night with a contest against Methodist University.

Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. between the Panthers and Monarchs. Monday’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 Kevin Burke providing analysis. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. (EST), with the post-game show immediately following the contest vs. the Monarchs.

• The Purple & White are 25-2 (.926) in their last 27 home games and have won the last nine contests inside the Millis Center. The nine-game home streak is second longest in the Big South behind Winthrop (11).

• The Panthers are shooting 51.1 percent (47-92) from 3-point territory during the past seven games.

• Last time out, HPU dropped a 78-75, overtime contest at William & Mary on Dec. 21 in Williamsburg, Va. The Tribe’s Daniel Dixon hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to give W&M the victory.

• HPU’s four losses in 2015-16 have come by a combined 13 points. In the last two games, HPU has fallen in the final three seconds of the game.

• Senior forward Lorenzo Cugini led the Panthers with a season-best 20 points (7-12 FG) and grabbed eight rebounds in the game.

• Cugini ranks third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.600) and made 4-of-7 attempts at William & Mary. The Stow, Ohio, native also is also ninth amongst all active players nationally in career 3-point field goal percentage (.434).

• Redshirt-senior John Brown finished with eight points (6-7 FT) and was 1-of-6 from the floor vs. W&M. It marked the fewest field goals by Brown since a Feb. 18, 2015 win over Gardner-Webb in the Millis Center.

• HPU is averaging 90.2 ppg and shooting 54.9 percent from the floor in home contests.

• With a start against Methodist, Brown will pass Arizona Reid (2004-08) and become HPU’s all-time DI leader in career starts. In addition, he needs just three steals to pass Reid become the all-time HPU leader in that category.

• Brown (1,911) and senior Adam Weary (1,009) are two members of HPU’s 1,000-point club. Cugini needs 122 points to join his classmates in the prestigious fraternity.

Advanced statistics paint a better picture of the value HPU senior Lorenzo Cugini’s shooting touch provides the Panthers. The Stow, Ohio, product is 12th nationally in effective field goal percentage (.687), which places 1.5x the emphasis on 3-pointers. In addition, Cugini is ninth in the country in true shooting percentage (.707), 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.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, HPU is 9-3 in games following a loss. The Panthers are 2-1 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. HPU has dropped its last two games at NC State (76-73) and William & Mary (78-75 OT).

Methodist was picked to finish eighth out of 11 teams in the 2015-16 USA South preseason poll. The Monarchs are 4-5 on the year and have posted a 2-3 mark on the road. The Monarchs are led by senior forward Brandon Monk, who averages 15.2 points and is shooting 49 percent (47-96) on the year. Senior guard Tabias Hilliard chips in 12.6 points per contest and has posted a team-best 24 assists, while sophomore forward Jackson Whitley grabs a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game and adds 7.0 points per contest.

Monday’s matchup will mark the first ever meeting between High Point and Methodist in men’s basketball.

HPU has posted a 19-1 (.950) all-time record against teams from the USA South Conference. The Panthers most common USA South opponents are Greensboro College (7-1), Ferrum (5-0), Piedmont (2-0) and Covenant (2-0). In the most recent meeting with a USA South school, HPU defeated North Carolina Wesleyan, 93-69, to open the 2015-16 home slate on Nov. 15.

High Point returns to Big South play with a New Year’s eve home tilt against Radford. Tip-off inside the Millis Center is scheduled for 7 p.m., with pre-game coverage on the High Point Panthers Radio Network beginning at 6:30 p.m.