HPU MBB Panthers plunder Buccaneers, 72-50

• HPU held Charleston Southern to 36 percent shooting in the second half and 4-for-22 (.182) from 3-point land for the game
• The Panther reserves held a +19 (28-9) edge in bench scoring
• John Brown (16), Andre Fox (15) and Adam Weary (15) all hit the 15-point plateau vs. CSU

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (16-9, 9-5) used a stifling defensive effort to dispatch of visiting Charleston Southern, 72-50, on Saturday evening inside the Millis Center.

Leading 32-28 at the half, HPU held the Buccaneers to just 22 points and 36 percent shooting (9-25) in the final stanza. The Panthers were +18 (40-22) in the second half and held the Bucs to 18.2 percent (4-22) from 3-point land for the game.

CSU’s 50 points were the fewest by a Panther opponent since Methodist posted 50 on Dec. 28.

“This is a really good win for our program,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “Guys played with tremendous effort and made plays on both ends of the floor. To turn around and continue that level of passion and play after a great win at Coastal Carolina says a lot about our team. We feel good about where we’re at – defensively, we were great tonight.”

High Point shot 52.8 percent (28-53) for the game, including a 57.7 percent mark (15-26) in the decisive second half.

HPU’s reserves once again stepped up in a big way Saturday, as the Panthers held a 28-9 edge in bench scoring for the game. After being outscored 115-36 over a four-game span from Jan. 23-Feb. 6, the Panther bench is +31 (58-27) over the past two contests.

Freshman Andre Fox tied a career high with 15 points and hit a personal-best three 3-pointers on the night, while redshirt-senior John Brown posted team highs in points (16), rebounds (7) and blocks (2).

Senior Adam Weary chipped in 15 points (6-9 FG) and a game-high four assists, while redshirt-junior Miles Bowman Jr. added a season-best six points and three rebounds in 12 minutes.

Behind the strong inside play of student-athletes like Bowman, the Panthers held a 40-30 edge in points in the paint for the game. HPU is now 9-2 when it posts at least 40 points from within the key this season.

HPU also moved to 11-1 when it holds the rebounding edge this season, as the Panthers were +9 (33-24) on the glass.

The Panthers jumped out to a 12-5 lead six minutes into the game, but CSU cut the advantage to one (14-13) at the 10:57 mark of the first half.

Charleston Southern moved ahead by one (25-24) at the 4:37 mark and extended the edge to two (28-26) with 2:50 to play in the half. But from there, Bowman Jr. stepped up with a couple of great moves in the paint to move the Panthers back up two (30-28). Andre Fox converted a lay-in with six seconds remaining in the half to give HPU a four-point lead heading into the break (32-28).

The Panthers rocketed out of the locker room in the second half, posting 16 of the period’s first 20 points to open up a 16-point edge (48-32) with 15:02 to go in the game. The 16-4 run included 3-pointers from Fox and Haiishen McIntyre.

CSU cut the lead to 12 (54-42) with 9:46 to play, but the Panthers responded with a 10-0 run to balloon the advantage to 23 (65-42) with 4:56 remaining.

With the win, the Panthers improve to 11-3 at home this season and 4-1 in their last five games against the Buccaneers.

HPU resumes play on Thursday when the Panthers travel to Farmville, Va., to take on Longwood (8-19, 4-10). Tip-off between the Panthers and Lancers is scheduled for 7 p.m.