• Jorge Perez-Laham posted a career-high 14 points while John Brown added 14 points and 10 rebounds
• The Panthers forced 16 Radford turnovers and posted a strong a 3.17 assist/turnover ratio (19/6)
• High Point is 3-0 in Big South play for the first time since 2006-07
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team is 3-0 in Big South play for the first time in nine years after dispatching of visiting Radford, 77-60, on New Year’s Eve in the Millis Center.
Radford (8-7, 1-2) trailed by just five points at the break, but High Point (10-4, 3-0) shot 62.1 percent in the second half to outscore the Highlanders, 43-31, in the stanza.
With the victory, HPU is off to its best start in league play since the 2006-07 campaign.
“I think this is the most complete game we’ve played this season,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “It wasn’t always pretty, but our guys really competed from opening tip to the last buzzer. I’m proud of our effort to hold a team like Radford to 60 points. It was really impressive to watch and a lot of different guys got the job done for us tonight.”
The Purple & White limited Radford – which already has posted wins at Georgetown and Penn State this season – to just 30 percent (12-40) shooting in the first half. But the Highlanders stayed in the game on the strength of 12 offensive rebounds that led to 10 second chance points. The second half was a different story, as HPU limited Radford to just two offensive boards and was +3 (13-10) on the glass in the half.
With the strong second half effort offensively, HPU ended the game shooting at a 50 percent clip (31-62) and made 7-of-16 3-point attempts (.438). The Highlanders entered the game eighth in the country in 3-point field goal defense (.274).
The Panthers held Radford to 34.5 percent shooting (20-58) for the game, including 32 percent (8-25) from deep.
High Point was extremely aggressive on the defensive end throughout the game while forcing 16 Radford turnovers and making nine steals. The effort led to some lethal transition basketball for the Purple & White, as HPU held a 19-5 edge in points off turnovers and a 16-4 advantage in fast break points. The Panthers distributed 19 assists and made just six turnovers in the game.
Redshirt-senior forward John Brown posted his second double-double of the season with 14 points (6-12 FG) and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes. The Jacksonville, Fla., native also chipped in four assists and two blocks.
Junior guard Jorge Perez-Laham provided a critical offensive spark off the bench while posting a season-high 14 points (5-8 FG). Fellow junior Anthony Lindauer registered 13 points (3-5 3pt FG), four rebounds and three assists, and senior Haiishen McIntyre added seven points and a game-high five assists.
Radford led 17-16 at the 10:29 mark of the first half, but RU would not lead again for the remainder of the game. From there, HPU used 10-0 run to open up a 26-17 lead with 7:45 to play in the half. Radford cut the lead to two (31-29) with 1:25 left in the stanza, but HPU entered the break ahead, 34-29.
Radford trailed by four (38-34) at the 17:59 mark of the second half, but HPU again blitzed the Highlanders with a 10-0 burst to go up 14 (48-34) on a lay-in by Austin White with 14:58 to play. HPU extended the lead to 20 (56-36) after a lay-in from Weary and took its largest lead of 21 (67-46) with 6:03 to go.
With the win, HPU improves to 27-2 (.931) in its last 29 home games. High Point has won 11 straight contests inside the Millis Center.
High Point now hits the road for a Big South clash with Charleston Southern (5-8, 1-1) on Saturday (Jan. 2). The two teams will ring in the New Year at 5:30 p.m. inside the Buc Dome.