HPU men’s basketball drops 55-52 road decision at Liberty

• High Point dropped just its second road game in conference play with a 55-52 loss at Liberty Tuesday.
• Sophomore Andre Fox had a half-court shot to tie the game at the buzzer that hit off the front of the rim.
• Fox, redshirt-senior Miles Bowman Jr. and sophomore Ricky Madison combined to score 42 of HPU’s 52 points in the contest.

LYNCHBURG. Va. – The High Point University basketball team dropped a close one late on the road at Liberty, 55-52, on Tuesday night in Lynchburg. Va. Redshirt-senior Miles Bowman Jr. and sophomores Andre Fox and Ricky Madison combined to score 42 of the Panthers 52 points in the game.

“I thought we were good defensively and we did some good things throughout the course of the game,” head coach Scott Cherry said. “I told our guys before the game it was going to come down to guarding the two and keeping them from driving into the paint and kicking it out. That is what they got on the last possession with a drive and a kick out. Our guys competed and got some stops late unfortunately we didn’t score at the other end. I am proud of our kids and the way they played hard throughout the game.”

Bowman Jr. was 5-9 from the field and 3-3 from behind the arc, scoring 11 of his 14 points in the second half. Madison was 5-8 from the floor and 4-6 from the line while Fox shot 4-10 overall and 4-4 from the line.

Ryan Kemrite scored a game-high 21 for Liberty, shooting 7-11 from the field and 5-9 from three. Lovell Cabbil was the only other Flames player in double figures with 13 on the night.

The Panthers drop to 14-13 overall and 8-7 in the Big South with the loss, just their second on the road in conference play, while Liberty moves into first place in the conference with an 18-10 overall mark and a 13-2 record in the Big South.

High Point held a slim 9-7 lead seven minutes into the game thanks to two free throws from Madison, his fifth and sixth points of the game. A layup by Liberty’s Myo Baxter-Bell tied the game at 9-9 and started a 6-0 burst by the Flames that gave the hosts a four-point lead.

Down by seven with 30 seconds left in the first half, High Point scored the final two points of the period on two free throws from Fox then scored eight of the first 10 points to start the second half on a 3-pointer and a layup from Bowman Jr. and a layup and free throw from Madison to take its first lead since 13 minutes left in the first half at 32-31.

High Point trailed by one, 45-44, when a layup by Kemrite started a 7-0 run by the Flames that extended the host’s lead to 52-44 with a little over three minutes to play. The Panthers answered with six points including three on a 3-pointer by Fox to close within two with less than a minute to play, but a three by Kemrite with 10 seconds left pushed the Liberty lead to 55-50.

On the next possession, Madison scored on a tip in to pull HPU within three and Liberty then missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1.7 seconds left. Thompson inbounded to Fox, but the shot by the sophomore from half court at the buzzer was short.

High Point concludes its road slate with a game against Charleston Southern in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday, Feb. 18. Tip in the game is set for 5:30 p.m.