High Point MBB wraps up series with Coastal Thursday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (14-9, 7-5) plays its final scheduled Big South game vs. Coastal Carolina (15-8, 9-4) on Thursday inside the HTC Center.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Chanticleers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network. 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.

• HPU is 4-6 on the road this season (3-2 in Big South play).

• Last time out, HPU fell to Liberty, 80-76, on Saturday in the Millis Center. The Flames scored on their last nine possessions and shot 52.8 percent overall to earn the road victory.

• During HPU’s current 2-5 stretch, opponents are shooting 42.8 percent (65-152) from 3-point range and 50.4 percent overall (178-353) from the field.

• Over the past two games, HPU opponents are shooting a combined 62 percent (31-50) in the second half.

• HPU is 12-6 in games following a loss since the start of the 2014-15 season, including a 5-3 mark this season. The Panthers have dropped two straight contests.

• Redshirt-senior John Brown led HPU with 18 points and eight rebounds against the Flames. He has posted 20+ points in five of the last seven games and is averaging 23.3 ppg and shooting 60.7 percent during the seven-game stretch.

• Senior Lorenzo Cugini tied a season high with five 3-pointers made and added 15 points in 30 minutes.

• Senior Adam Weary tallied 17 points (5-9 FG) and a team-high five assists vs. the Flames. He is averaging 15.5 points, 4.3 assists and shooting 60.7 percent from the field over HPU’s past four games.

• Over the past three games, HPU opponents hold a combined +79 (115-36) edge in bench scoring. Liberty’s bench outscored the Panther reserves, 41-15, on Saturday.

• Cugini is just 14 points away from 1,000 for his career. When he reaches the mark, HPU will be the only team in the nation with a 2,000-point scorer and two 1,000-point scorers.

The Panthers are 9-1 when HPU’s reserves score 20 points or more, but just 5-8 when the bench posts less than 20. High Point’s quartet of John Brown, Lorenzo Cugini, Adam Weary and Anthony Lindauer contributes 67.8 percent of the team’s scoring output in 2015-16. That number balloons to 76.4 percent in losses (63.2 percent in wins).

With his 2,146 career points, redshirt-senior John Brown is tied for fourth on the Big South all-time scoring list with Stan Okoye of VMI. With six points vs. Coastal, Brown will pass the Chanticleers’ Tony Dunkin and move into third place all time. Brown is one of three Panthers in the conference’s top-10 scoring list, joining Nick Barbour (6th, 2,121) and Arizona Reid (7th, 2,069). On his current pace, Brown will end his career as the No. 2 scorer in league history.

Coastal Carolina was picked to finish second in the Big South preseason poll and currently holds that position with a 9-4 league mark. The Chanticleers started Big South play 2-4 but have captured their last seven league contests. The Chanticleers are 9-2 at home this season (5-1 in Big South play). Coastal Carolina is led by junior guard Elijah Wilson, who averages a team-best 14.3 points per game. Senior forward Badou Diagne chips in 11.7 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds, while sophomore guard Jaylen Shaw leads the team and is second in the Big South with 4.4 assists/contest. The Chanticleers lead the conference in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and rebounding margin.

Thursday’s matchup with Coastal Carolina will mark the 37th all-time meeting between the Panthers and Chanticleers. It’s the last scheduled Big South matchup between the teams, as CCU departs for the Sun Belt Conference next season. Coastal holds a 21-15 edge in the all-time series and has won the last three contests. In the first meeting this season, CCU edged the Panthers, 71-68, on Jan. 16 inside the Millis Center. Adam Weary posted a season-high 19 points in the game while John Brown added 18 points. Weary has averaged 15.2 points in five career games against the Chanticleers, including 18.0 ppg over the past two seasons (3 games).

High Point returns to the Millis Center for an ESPN3 contest vs. Charleston Southern on Saturday (Feb. 13). Tip-off between the Panthers and Buccaneers is scheduled for 7 p.m. HPU won the first meeting between the teams, 78-73, on Jan. 2 inside the Buc Dome.