High Point MBB Hosts Coastal For Final League Game Saturday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (12-5, 5-1) plays its final Big South home game against rival Coastal Carolina (9-8, 3-4) on Saturday evening inside the Millis Center.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Chanticleers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday’s game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3, featuring commentary from Mike Hogewood (play-by-play) and Ralph Patterson (color commentary). In additon, Evan Lepler and Stafford Stephenson will call the game on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

• High Point (5-1) is tied for first place in the Big South standings, while Coastal Carolina is sixth with a 3-4 league mark.

• The Purple & White are 28-2 (.933) in their last 30 home games and have won the last 12 contests inside the Millis Center. It’s the longest current home winning streak in the Big South.

• The 12-game home winning streak also marks the second longest in the program’s Div. I history. The Panthers won 15-straight inside Millis from February 2006 to January 2007.

• Last time out, HPU dropped its first league game of the season with an 86-66 defeat at Winthrop on Jan.14. To show how competitive HPU has been in league play over the past four seasons, the loss was HPU’s largest in a Big South game since a Jan. 26, 2012 game at UNC Asheville (L, 90-70).

• HPU shot just 32.6 percent from the floor vs. Eagles, marking its second lowest output of the season (.297 at Georgia).

• Redshirt-senior John Brown led HPU with 25 points (12-23 FG) and 10 rebounds to post his third double-double of the season and 16th of his career.

• With his 17th point at Winthrop, Brown became the ninth player in Big South history and fourth in HPU annals to post 2,000 career points.

• High Point owns a +19.0 scoring margin in Big South home games and a -4.3 margin in league road games.

• High Point is the only team in the nation to rank in the top-25 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.435, 7th), turnover margin (+5.2, 9th) and overall field goal percentage (.487, 25th).

Seniors John Brown (2,008) and Adam Weary (1,049) are two members of HPU’s 31-player 1,000-point club (7 in the DI era). Fellow senior Lorenzo Cugini needs 66 points to join his classmates in the prestigious fraternity. HPU is one of just three teams nationally to feature a 2,000 point and 1,000 point scorer. The others are Evansville (D.J. Balentine, Egidijus Mockevicius) and Hofstra (JuanYa Green, Ameen Tanksley). In addition, once Cugini hits the 1,000-point milestone, it will mark the first time in HPU’s Div. I era that the Panthers have featured three 1,000-point scorers.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, HPU is 10-3 in games following a loss. The Panthers are 3-1 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 dropped two games in a row at NC State (76-73) and William & Mary (78-75 OT), but bounced back with a 96-50 win over Methodist on Dec. 28.

Coastal Carolina was picked to finish second in the Big South preseason poll behind only HPU. The Chanticleers currently sit sixth with a 3-4 league mark. Afrer posting a 6-4 non-conference record, CCU has earned BSC wins over Radford (63-58), Winthrop (82-63) and Presbyterian (87-58). The Chants are 0-3 in league road games, including losses to Campbell (79-73), Gardner-Webb (65-61) and Longwood (76-61). Coastal Carolina is led by junior guard Elijah Wilson, who averages a team-best 13.5 points per game. Senior forward Badou Diagne chips in 12.5 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds, while sophomore guard Jaylen Shaw leads the team and is second in the Big South with 4.5 assists/contest.

Saturday’s matchup with Coastal Carolina will mark the 36th all-time meeting between the Panthers and Chanticleers. It’s the last time Coastal will play at the Millis Center as a member of the Big South. CCU holds a 20-15 edge in the all-time series and won both meetings last season. The Chanticleers have won three of the past four matchups at the Millis Center. Last season, Coastal won at High Point, 83-68, on New Year’s Eve and earned a 65-60 victory at the HTC Center on Feb. 6. Seniors Adam Weary (17.5 ppg), John Brown (15.0 ppg) and Lorenzo Cugini (11.5 ppg) all averaged double figure scoring totals in the two games with Coastal last season.

High Point wrapped up a three games in six days stretch with the Jan. 2 game at Charleston Southern. HPU earned wins over Methodist (96-50), Radford (77-60) and Charleston Southern (78-73) during the swing. HPU then played just two games in 12 days. That duo of contests includes the game vs. Presbyterian (Jan. 9 – W, 82-66) and Thursday’s loss at Winthrop. HPU’s is in the midst of a three-game stretch at Winthrop, vs. Coastal Carolina (Jan. 16) and vs. UNC Asheville (Jan. 20) that features conference championship contenders.

High Point remains in the Millis Center for a critical showdown with UNC Asheville in the only meeting between the Panthers and Bulldogs this season. Tip-off on Wednesday (Jan. 20 ) is set for 7 p.m.