High Point men’s basketball to battle Clemson in post-Thanksgiving contest

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team (3-2) returns to action for a post-Thanksgiving battle with the Clemson Tigers (2-2) on Friday inside Littlejohn Coliseum.

Tip-off between the Panthers and Tigers is set for 7 p.m. Friday’s game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra/ESPN3, with Don Munson and Ralph Patterson on the call. In addition, Kevin Burke will be back on the call on the High Point Panthers Radio Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

• High Point enjoyed a four-day break after hosting the HPU Classic Nov. 18-20. The Panthers posted a 2-1 record, with wins over rival UNCG (63-57) and Navy (69-62).
• Sophomore Andre Fox is third in the Big South in scoring (17.6 ppg) and fifth in field goal percentage (.510). He has posted 20+ points in three of five games and is 34th nationally in free throws made (34).
• Redshirt-senior Miles Bowman Jr. is one of just 13 players nationally to have posted three double-doubles in 2016-17. He leads the Big South and is 33rd nationally in rebounds/game (10.0).
• HPU has shot at least 38 percent from 3-point range in all five games this season. The Panthers are second in the Big South and 58th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.398).
• The Panthers are excelling from beyond the arc, but rank just 289th nationally in 2-point field goal percentage (.426)
• Freshman point guard Jamal Wright is second in the Big South in assists per game (4.0) and has dished out 20 assists while committing just nine turnovers (2.2 A/TO ratio, 6th in BSC).
• The Panthers lead the Big South in scoring defense (64.8 ppg) and have limited opponents to 70 or fewer points in four of five games in 2016-17.
• HPU is 17-13 (.567) in its last 30 road games dating back to the 2014-15 season. The Panthers won a school record seven Big South away contests last season.
• The Panthers are playing their second game against an ACC opponent in as many weeks. HPU fell to Virginia Tech on Nov. 15 in Blacksburg.

Friday’s game marks the fourth ever meeting between High Point and Clemson in men’s basketball. The two teams first met on Nov. 27, 2002, with the Tigers earning a 91-65 victory in Littlejohn. In the most recent meeting, HPU played an extremely competitive game at Clemson on Nov. 28, 2014, falling 62-59. The Panthers had a couple chances to tie it up down two (58-56) with under two minutes to play.

High Point University has posted a 2-36 record in 38 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 dropped a 99-73 contest to Virginia Tech on Nov. 15 in Cassell Coliseum. Andre Fox posted 23 points to lead the Panthers against the Hokies.

Clemson was picked to finish 11th out of 15 teams in the 2016-17 ACC preseason poll. The Tigers opened the season with a home victory over Georgia (74-64) and posted a 1-2 record at the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando. The Tigers are led by preseason All-ACC selection Jaron Blossomgame, who is averaging 16.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest. Junior guard Gabe Devoe is second on the team in scoring and averaging a team-best 3.8 assists/contest, while senior center Sidy Djitte leads the team in rebounding (9.0) and chips in 11.3 points/game. Six Tigers average 10+ points/contest.

HPU is right back at it Monday night (Nov. 28) when the Panthers head to Baltimore for a matchup with Morgan State. Tip-off in Hill Field House is scheduled for 7 p.m.