• Andre Fox scored a career-best 23 points (9-16 FG) and made a personal-best four 3-pointers to lead HPU
• The Panthers outscored Virginia Tech, 48-41, over the game’s final 24 minutes and shot 50 percent (13-26) in the second half
• HPU returns home to host three games Nov. 18-20 in the High Point University Classic
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (1-1) outscored Virginia Tech 48-41 over the game’s final 24 minutes but could not overcome a hot start from the Hokies, falling 99-73 Tuesday evening in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech (2-0) opened the game by hitting 16 of their first 17 shots, including 7-of-8 3-pointers to jump out to a 39-16 lead at the 9:57 mark of the first half. But the Panthers took the wallop head on and hung strong, utilizing a zone defense to slow the Hokies down and put a number of strong possessions together.
HPU closed the first half on a 7-0 run and limited the Hokies to 4-of-20 shooting from 3-point territory down the stretch.
“We got out of sorts in the game’s first 14 minutes. We’re a young team and we were shell shocked a bit,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “We didn’t guard the first action in their offense and we were forced into rotations where they got good looks. But after that, we regrouped. We’ll learn from this. I love the character of our kids – they believe in one another. We’re excited to get back home for our tournament, play three games in front of our fans and continue to get better.”
Andre Fox continued an outstanding start to his sophomore campaign, leading the Panthers with a career-best 23 points. That total bested his previous career high of 15, which he had achieved twice as a freshman last season. He shot 9-of-16 from the floor, made a career best four 3-pointers on six attempts, and chipped in with two rebounds and an assist.
Redshirt-senior Miles Bowman Jr., finished with 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to register his second double-double in as many games, while freshman Jamal Wright chipped in a career-high 12 points, four assists and two steals.
Ahmed Hill led a group of four Virginia Tech players in double figures with 20 points. Seth Allen finished with 17 points, Khadim Sy had 14 and Zach LeDay put up 12.
The Panthers trailed by 33, 58-25, at the final media timeout of the first half before closing on a 9-2 run to go into the break down 60-34. Fox and Bowman Jr. combined to score 22 of HPU’s 32 first-half points with each putting up 11 in the opening 20 minutes.
High Point outscored Virginia Tech, 12-6, in the first five minutes of the second half to close to within 20, but a 10-0 run by the Hokies pushed the lead back to 30, 76-46, with 12 minutes to play.
A 3-pointer out of the timeout from junior Austin White ended the Tech run and both senior Tarique Thompson and Fox followed with layups for a quick 7-0 Panther burst. The High Point deficit sat between 21 and 26 the rest of the way.
High Point now welcomes UNCG, Navy and North Dakota State to the Millis Center this weekend for the HPU Classic starting on Friday, Nov. 18. The Panthers will face off with inter-Triad rival UNCG on Friday at 7 p.m., then take on Navy on Saturday, Nov. 19 (4 p.m.) and North Dakota State on Sunday, Nov. 20 (12:30 p.m.).
Single-day tickets are $15 and are good for both games on each day of the tournament. HPU season tickets also are good for both games on all days of the tournament.