HPU men’s basketball battles Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Tuesday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team hits the road for the first time in 2016-17 when the Panthers head to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech Tuesday in Cassell Coliseum.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Hokies is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra/ESPN3, with live audio coverage also available via the High Point Panthers Radio Network. “Voice of the Panthers” Kevin Burke and Stafford Stephenson will call the game, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

• HPU opened the 2016-17 campaign with a defensive-minded, 74-41 victory over Averett Saturday in Millis.
• High Point held the Cougars to 21.7 percent from the floor, marking the lowest opponent field goal percentage in HPU’s Div. I history.
• Senior Anthony Lindauer led HPU with 16 points and made a career-best four 3-pointers, while sophomore Andre Fox added 14 points and a personal-best eight rebounds.
• With the victory, HPU improved to 66-24 all-time in season openers (10-8 in Div. I era)
• High Point is 17-11 (.607) in its last 28 road games dating back to the 2014-15 season.

HPU recorded the third-most rebounds in single game program history Saturday vs. Averett, notching 59 boards and holding a +24 edge on the glass. Sophomore Ricky Madison grabbed a career-high 12 boards, while freshman Cliff Thomas Jr. added 10 rebounds in 16 minutes. Redshirt-senior Miles Bowman Jr. chipped in a double-double (11 pts, 10 reb) in just 15 minutes of work.

With the departure of point guard stalwart Haiishen McIntyre, HPU will feature a duo of talented new student-athletes at that position in 2016-17. Freshman Jamal Wright is a natural fit at the position and has the opportunity to make an immediate impact for the Purple & White. One of the top point guards in the DC Metro area in 2015-16, he averaged 14.4 ppg while leading all DC/VA/MD players in assists/game (6.6). Junior combo guard Jalen Williams will play both the point and the 2-guard positions, and comes to HPU after stints at junior colleges Redlands CC and State Fair. Wright (8 pts, 4 ast, 3 stl) and Williams (6 pts, 2-4 3pt FG) each had solid debuts for the Purple & White Saturday vs. Averett.

Tuesday’s game marks the third-ever matchup (second in the Div. I era) between High Point and Virginia Tech in men’s basketball. HPU earned an 84-75 win in the Millis Center during the 1952-53 campaign, and fell by that same score in overtime on Dec. 30, 2000, in Blacksburg.

High Point University has posted a 2-35 record in 37 all-time meetings with ACC opponents. The Panthers most common
ACC opponents are Wake Forest (1-11), North Carolina (0-7) and NC State (0-7). Seven of the 11 meetings with the Demon Deacons came in the 1930s and 1940s. HPU’s wins came over Wake Forest (19-13) in 1935 and Virginia Tech (84-75) in 1952. In the most recent meeting with an ACC program, HPU fell at the buzzer, 76-73, at NC State on Dec. 16, 2015 in Raleigh. HPU had the ball with 19 seconds to go and the score tied at 73, but turned the ball over on an inbounds pass and the Wolfpack capitalized.

Virginia Tech was picked to finish 10th out of 15 teams in the 2016-17 ACC preseason poll. The Hokies are coming off a 20-15 season (10-8 ACC) and are expected to contend for an NCAA Tournament berth in head coach Buzz Williams’ third season leading the program. VT opened the season at home with an 80-67 victory over Maine Friday. Junior college transfer Zach LeDay led the Hokies with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore guard Justin Robinson added 13 points and a team-high four assists. Top returning scorer Seth Allen tallied eight points on 4-of-7 shooting.

High Point returns home to host its first non-conference tournament in program history. The Panthers open the event with intra-Triad rival UNCG on Friday (Nov. 18) at 7 p.m., then host Navy Saturday at 4 p.m. The weekend wraps up with a 12:30 p.m. matchup against mid-major power North Dakota State on Sunday. All games can be seen on the Big South Network, with live audio coverage available via the High Point Panthers Radio Network.