• The Panthers made two stops on Coastal’s final possession to grab the road victory
• HPU held a +5 (41-36) advantage on the glass against the league’s best rebounding team
• John Brown and Adam Weary each posted 13 points to lead HPU to the road win
CONWAY, S.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team earned a pair of stops on Coastal Carolina’s final possession to pick up a critical 68-67 road victory on Thursday night inside the HTC Center.
After two free throws from Haiishen McIntyre gave HPU a four-point lead (68-64) with 57 seconds to play, Coastal’s Shivaughn Wiggins nailed a 3-pointer (00:43) to pull the Chanticleers within one (68-67).
After HPU could not convert on its next possession, HPU make a pair of key defensive plays. John Brown blocked Elijah Wilson with two seconds to play, but Coastal kept possession and had a final shot. The Chanticleers had a look to win it, but could not convert, as the Panthers escaped with the victory.
High Point improves to 15-9 and 8-5 in the Big South, while Coastal Carolina falls to 15-9 (9-5 Big South). The HPU victory snaps Coastal Carolina’s seven-game winning streak.
“This win is huge for our team,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We’re trying to move in the right direction. We’ve bee through a tough stretch, but that’s how it goes. We didn’t shoot the ball well at all, but a lot of guys stepped up. Andre Fox was big and the bench really contributed. But we can’t be satisfied. We need to build on this and continue to improve.”
HPU did not shoot the ball well in the game, making just 23-of-62 attempts (.371) while shooting 14.3 percent (3-21) from deep.
But HPU checked off three big keys to the game to grab the victory.
• The Panthers out-rebounded the conference’s best rebounding team, 41-36. HPU is now 10-1 when it wins the rebounding battle this season.
• High Point held a much needed 30-18 edge in bench scoring for the game. The Panthers also are 10-1 when the bench scores 20 or more points in 2015-16.
• HPU limited Coastal to just 28.6 percent (4-14) shooting from 3-point range. Panther foes had shot at least 40 percent from deep in each of HPU’s last five defeats.
Four Panthers scored in double figures during Thursday night’s win. Redshirt-senior John Brown notched 13 points (6-9 FG), nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while senior Adam Weary chipped in 13 points and four rebounds.
Freshman Andre Fox provided a huge boost off the bench with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks. And junior Anthony Lindauer chipped in 10 points and connected on 2-of-4 3-point attempts for the Panthers.
The Panthers jumped out to a 10-6 lead and held an 18-13 advantage after a jumper from the corner from redshirt-junior Miles Bowman Jr. CCU cut the lead to one (20-19) at the 9:29 mark of the half, but from there, the Panthers exploded for a 14-3 run that pushed HPU ahead, 34-22.
Coastal rallied with five straight to cut the lead to seven (34-27), but HPU regained a 10-point lead (37-27) on a 3-point play from Weary with 1:09 to go in the half. The Panthers entered the break ahead, 39-29.
The Chanticleers opened the second half on a 14-5 run to cut the HPU lead to five (44-43) at the 15:25 mark of the stanza. HPU led 51-50 with 11:27 to play, but used a 6-0 run to extend the edge to seven (57-50).
A 3-pointer from Weary and free throw from Fox built the lead up to nine (62-53) with six minutes left, but Coastal responded with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two (62-60) with 4:30 to go. But HPU made its key stops down the stretch and improved to 4-2 on the road in Big South play.
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.