• Senior Miles Bowman Jr. matched a career high with 24 points and recorded a career-high three blocks
• The Panthers came back from down nine in overtime, but junior Austin White’s last second shot bounced off the rim
• High Point will be the No. 5 seed for the Big South Tournament and will see Gardner-Webb in the quarterfinals on March 2
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team’s comeback to Gardner-Webb in overtime fell just short, 88-86, in the final regular season game of the season, Saturday (Feb. 25) at the Millis Center.
The result means the Panthers (15-15, 9-9 Big South) will be the No. 5 seed for the Big South Tournament and will face the Runnin’ Bulldogs (18-13, 11-7), who secured the No. 4 seed, on Thursday evening (March 2). The quarterfinal matchup is scheduled for a 9 p.m. start.
In the extra frame, the Runnin’ Bulldogs (18-13, 11-7 Big South) hit three 3-pointers on the way to opening up a nine-point lead at 87-78 with 33 seconds to go. After a senior Tarique Thompson layup, senior Anthony Lindauer made a three off a junior Austin White steal.
After a GWU free throw, Lindauer hit another deep three to pull the Panthers within two with 8 seconds to go. Gardner-Webb’s LaQuincy Rideau made one of two free throws, but White’s running jumper missed as time expired.
“Our guys were resilient tonight, fought until the last second and I’m proud of them,” HPU head coach Scott Cherry said. “It wasn’t an easy game, it was hotly contested, going back-and-forth with guys making shots. Our kids never gave up and kept fighting and that is what you want to see this time of year. We’ll see these guys again in a little less than a week, so we will go back, look at it and try and be as prepared as possible.”
Senior Miles Bowman Jr. matched his career high with a game-high 24 points along with a career-high three blocks. Junior Andre Fox added 19 points, while Thompson (17) and Lindauer (10) also recorded double-figure points.
The two teams were nearly even in shooting, with High Point hitting at a 45.8 percent clip to Gardner-Webb’s 43.8 percent, while GWU held a 42-35 advantage in rebounding. The Runnin’ Bulldogs hit nine 3-pointers to HPU’s five, with seven of them coming after the halftime break.
In the first half, Bowman Jr. scored the first eight Panther points and HPU led 8-2 2:17 in the contest. The Runnin’ Bulldogs slowly pulled closer and took one-point lead at 25-24, but Thompson came right back and hit a three to take back the lead. GWU pulled with one at 35-34, but Bowman Jr’s 15th point of the game gave HPU a 36-34 halftime lead.
Garnder-Webb held a 63-58 lead with 6:23 to go, but HPU went on a 6-0 run capped by a Thompson jumper to give the Panthers a 64-63 lead. The two teams traded buckets and after a GWU three, Fox made two free throws to tie the game at 68.
DJ Laster hit a hook shot in the paint to give the Runnin’ Bulldogs a 70-68 lead with 1:28 to go, but Fox hit a pair of free throws with 31 seconds remaining to tie the game at 70. Rideau’s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim in the final regular-season possession.
By way of tiebreakers, Winthrop secured the No. 1 seed for the Big South Tournament. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested in Rock Hill, S.C., March 2-3 and the final will be held March 5 at the highest remaining seed.
Please contact the Panther Club by Wednesday, March 1 at (336) 841-4556 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seats for the Big South Tournament.