High Point MBB drops 79-74 contest to Gardner-Webb

• Redshirt-senior John Brown posted season highs of 32 points (12-18 FG) and 13 rebounds
• With his 26th point, Brown became the all-time leading scorer in HPU Div. I history (2,128 points)
• Gardner-Webb shot 66.7 percent in the second half and 57.4 percent for the game

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team fell to Gardner-Webb, 79-74, on Wednesday night inside the Millis Center.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs led for 39:03 of the game’s 40 minutes and shot 57.4 percent (27-47), including a blistering 66.7 percent (16-24) clip in the second half. GWU also made 11 3-pointers and held a +5 (27-22) edge on the glass.

HPU’s brief lead (58-57) came with 8:26 to play, but GWU responded with 8-2 run to build the lead back to five (65-60), and HPU could not get back in front for the remainder of the game.

“You can’t come out of the gate the way we did in a league game in February. We can’t dig a hole like that and expect to win,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “They {Gardner-Webb] hit their first five 3-pointers and gained some confidence, and then in the second half we just traded baskets. We didn’t play the way we practiced tonight and I take responsibility for that.”

Redshirt-senior John Brown led the Panthers with season highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds while adding three steals and two assists in 34 minutes on the floor. Brown also made 12-of-18 field goal attempts and 7-of-8 free throws.

With his 26th point of the night, Brown moved past Nick Barbour (2008-12) to become the all-time leading scorer in HPU Div. I history. Brown now has 2,128 points in his career.

Senior Adam Weary chipped in 17 points, four steals and two assists in 27 minutes, while junior Anthony Lindauer scored all 10 of his points in the second half and made a pair of 3-pointers. Junior guard Jorge Perez-Laham got the start at the point and chipped in seven points (3-4 FG).

HPU shot 53.1 percent (26-49) in the game, including a sizzling 68 percent (17-25) in the second half. But High Point could not get consistent stops against a Gardner-Webb offense that made 66.7 percent of its shots in the final stanza.

John Brown scored High Point’s first 10 points, but Gardner-Webb was red hot from the start. The Runnin’ Bulldogs hit their first five triples to jump out to a 24-8 lead. From there, the Panthers stepped up their defensive effort, holding GWU to just three points over the next 10 minutes. During the stretch, the Panthers outscored the Bulldogs, 15-3, to climb back within six (27-21) at the 5:02 mark of the half.

Gardner-Webb posted the final five points of the stanza to take a 34-25 lead into the break. It marked HPU’s second largest halftime deficit of the season (11 at Georgia).

High Point made its first four shots of the second half and appeared to be back in control during a 10-4 run that cut the Runnin’ Bulldogs lead to three (38-35) with 17:37 remaining.

GWU went back up seven (48-41) at the 13:50 mark, but a jumper and a 3-pointer from Lindauer helped the Panthers move back within one (55-54) with 9:38 to go.

HPU took its lead at 58-57 on a lay-in from Brown with 8:26 left, but from there, Gardner-Webb responded with their 8-2 run to make it 65-60, and five straight points from Harold McBride extended the lead to nine (73-64) with two minutes left. The Panthers could not move closer than five (73-68) for the remainder of the game.

With the setback, HPU is now 2-4 in its last six games.

The Panthers remain at home for a rematch with Liberty on Saturday (Feb. 6) inside the Millis Center. Tip-off between the Panthers and Flames is set for 7 p.m. LU won the first meeting, 69-67, in Lynchburg on Jan. 23.