• HPU nearly erased a 12-point second half deficit but could not hit a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds
• Senior Adam Weary led the Panthers with a season-high 19 points while adding six rebounds and four assists
• Redshirt-senior John Brown added 18 points (6-9 FG), five rebounds, three steals and two blocks
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team put together a furious rally over the final five minutes of the second half but could not power past Coastal Carolina, falling to the visiting Chanticleers 71-68 on Saturday night inside the Millis Center.
HPU cut a 12-point second half lead by CCU to just two (62-60) with 2:52 to go. Coastal’s Badou Diagne hit a big 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to put the Chanticleers back up six (69-63), but Anthony Lindauer nailed a 3-pointer on the next possession. Then, HPU stole the ensuing inbounds pass and Adam Weary was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to move the Panthers within one (69-68).
But Coastal’s Shivaughn Wiggins hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds to go, and a last second 3-pointer from Lorenzo Cugini just hit back rim as the Chanticleers escaped with the win.
With the victory, Coastal Carolina improved to 10-8 (4-4 Big South), while the Panthers dropped to 12-6 (5-2).
“We just didn’t make enough plays tonight,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We dug a big hole, but we gave ourselves a chance at the end. I’m proud of the way our guys fought. They were resilient, came back and fought, but we just needed a couple plays to go our way that didn’t.”
The Chanticleers led by as many as 15 (24-9) in the first half and rode strong 3-point shooting all night. Coastal finished 9-of-16 (.563) from beyond the arc and made 6-of-9 attempts in the first half.
HPU shot 40 percent for the game but struggled from deep, making just 4-of-22 (.182) 3-point attempts after coming into the game ranked seventh in the nation in 3-point percentage.
High Point forced 14 Chanticleer turnovers that led to a 14-3 edge in points off turnovers, but Coastal won the rebounding battle (38-32) and grabbed 13 offensive boards.
Senior Adam Weary, who came into the game averaging more than 17 points per game in his career vs. Coastal, led HPU with another great outing against CCU. The Memphis, Tenn., native notched a season-high 19 points (8-15 FG) while tallying six rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes.
Redshirt-senior John Brown tallied 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting while adding five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Freshman Andre Fox chipped in eight points and hit two 3-pointers, while junior Tarique Thompson added seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.
Cugini had a rare off night with his shooting touch, making 1-of-7 3-point attempts and finishing with seven points.
Coastal used a 10-0 run to take an early 18-6 lead and led by 15 (24-9) after a lay-in from Tristan Curtis at the 10:09 mark of the opening half. HPU answered with a 17-5 run, highlighted by seven points from Brown, to pull within three (32-29), but Coastal closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 40-32 lead into the break.
The Chanticleers extended their advantage to 12 (54-42) with 10:20 to go in the game, but HPU responded with a 9-1 run to pull within four (55-51) with seven minutes to play.
HPU got it to two (64-62) with 1:57 left, but Coastal made plays down the stretch to earn the victory.
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.