High Point MBB heads north for Saturday duel with Radford

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (17-9, 10-5) continues its two-game Virginia road swing with a contest at Radford (15-12, 8-7) on Saturday.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Highlanders is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. inside the Dedmon Center. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on the Big South Network. In additon, Kevin Burke and Stafford Stephenson will call the game on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 4:00 p.m.

• With a win at Radford, HPU will match the school record of six Big South road wins set by last season’s team.

• Last time out, HPU won its third-straight game with an 88-80 victory at Longwood on Thursday. High Point is 5-2 on the road in league play and has won its last three away road contests.

• In the win at Longwood, the Panthers made 32-of-35 (.914) free throws. The 32 free throws made are the fourth most in the program’s Div. I history, while the 91.4 percentage also ranks fourth in Div. I annals.

• The Panthers held a 26-11 edge in bench scoring for the game against Longwood. After being outscored 115-36 over a four-game span by opponent reserves from Jan. 23-Feb. 6, the Panther bench is +46 (84-38) over the past three contests.

• HPU’s 19 assists were the most by the Panthers since a 25-assist effort vs. Presbyterian on Jan. 9 in the Millis Center.

• Senior Adam Weary led the Panthers with a career-high 26 points and dished out four assists in the win. His perfect 14-of-14 mark from the free throw line tied the school record for most free throws without a miss and vaunted his season average from .704 to .747.

• Redshirt-senior John Brown added 18 points (5-6 FG) while junior Anthony Lindauer notched 12 points and three assists against LWU.

• Brown has made 508 free throws in his HPU career. With six more, he will become the Big South’s all-time leader in that category, passing Radford’s Whit Holcomb-Faye (513, 2002-06).

• Senior Lorenzo Cugini is just four 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.

High Point is one game back of first place in the Big South standings with three games to go. HPU plays two of its final three games on the road. Here’s a look at the schedules of the five Big South teams in or within two games of first place and the combined conference winning percentage of their remaining opponents.

UNC Asheville (11-4): at Winthrop, vs. Liberty, vs. Coastal Carolina (.652)
Winthrop (11-4): vs. UNC Asheville, at High Point, at Campbell (.556)
High Point (10-5): at Radford, vs. Winthrop, at Presbyterian (.489)
Coastal Carolina (10-6): vs. Charleston Southern, at UNC Asheville (.516)
Liberty (9-6): vs. Presbyterian, at UNC Asheville, vs. Gardner-Webb (.500)

Redshirt-senior forward John Brown is one of the favorites to earn the 2015-16 Big South Defensive Player of the Year Award. When combining blocks and steals, Brown leads the league with 88 (48 blk, 40 stl), 13 in front No. 2 Dwayne Sutton of UNC Asheville (75 – 40 blk, 35 stl). Brown is the only player in the league with at least 40 steals and 40 blocks.

During HPU’s current three-game winning streak, head coach Scott Cherry has tinkered with his rotation and the changes have paid off. Sophomore Austin White has started in place of Anthony Lindauer during the past three games and averaged 21 minutes/game after seeing 13.0 minutes of action over the first 23 games. In addition, Andre Fox (12.9 mpg, 4.5 ppg), Ricky Madison (8.0 mpg, 3.4 ppg) and Miles Bowman Jr. (3.0 mpg, 0.3 ppg) saw limited minutes over the first 23 games. That trio has been critical during the 3-0 streak, with Fox (25.0 mpg, 10.0 ppg), Madison (14.0 mpg, 4.7 ppg) and Bowman Jr. (13.3 mpg, 5.3 ppg) all significantly increasing their production during the stretch.

Radford was picked to finish fourth in the 2015-16 Big South preseason poll. The Highlanders turned heads in the non-conference season with marquee wins at Georgetown (82-80) in double overtime on Nov. 14 and at Penn State (86-74) on Nov. 24. Radford has won two of its past three conference games and sits in seventh place with an 8-7 league mark. The Highlanders crash the glass well and rank 22nd in the nation in offensive rebounds/game (13.5). The Highlanders are paced by senior guard Cameron Jones, who averages 14.5 points, including 16.5 ppg in conference play. Rashun Davis chips in 14.2 ppg and leads the conference with 4.7 assists per game. Freshman forward Ed Polite Jr. grabs a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game and adds 8.7 points per contest.

Saturday’s matchup will mark the 42nd all-time meeting between the Panthers and Highlanders. Radford holds a 22-18 edge in the all-time series and has won five of the past seven meetings with High Point. HPU is 6-14 all-time at Radford. The teams first met on Jan. 15, 1980, with HPU earning a 59-40 victory in Millis. The Panthers won the 2015-16 season’s first meeting, 77-60, on New Year’s Eve in Millis. John Brown (14 pts, 10 reb), Jorge Perez-Laham (14 pts) and Anthony Lindauer (13 pts) all hit double figures in the win.

High Point returns to the Millis Center for a critical Thursday night matchup with Winthrop. Tip-off between the Panthers and Eagles on Feb. 25 is set for 9 p.m. The Senior Night affair will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.