CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team dropped a tough 70-67 decision at Charlotte Friday night (Nov. 24) at Halton Arena.
In a second half that included 30 combined fouls, HPU (2-3) was down 68-59 with 4:40 to go, but came back to pull within three on a layup by sophomore Brandonn Kamga with 12 seconds to go. Luke Vasic of Charlotte (3-2) missed both free throws after a foul, but junior Andre Fox’s 3-point attempt to tie the game was just off.
Kamga led the Panthers with a career-high 26 points 14 points and four rebounds in the first half. Senior Jordan Whitehead recorded a career-high seven rebounds with five points, while Fox added 10 points.
“I’m really proud of this team,” HPU head coach Scott Cherry said. “We could have folded without having Jahaad, but these guys came, competed and played their hearts out. We made a lot of mistakes, but if we can cut those down when January and February comes around, we’re going to be a really good basketball team.”
High Point outrebounded Charlotte, 34-27, but the Panthers had 20 turnovers compared to the 49ers’ 14. HPU stayed in the game in part at the free throw line, hitting at a 71.4 percent clip (15-21) to Charlotte’s 54.1 percent (20-37).
The Panthers went on an 8-1 run and tied the game at 41 on a thunderous put-back dunk by freshman Justyn Mutts. After a Fox 3-pointer and a breakaway dunk by junior Ricky Madison that gave HPU a 46-43 lead with 16:19 to go, the 49ers took back the lead for good with 14:40 remaining on a Garvin Najee bucket that made it 47-46 Charlotte.
In the first half, the 49ers jumped out to a 13-5 lead four minutes into the game and grew their lead to 11 with 1:28 to go, but Panther buckets from Whitehead, Mutts and Kamga cut the lead to 38-33 at halftime.
Hudson Price tallied 17 points and was perfect from the field (4-4 field goals, 7-7 free throws) to lead the 49ers.
Sophomore Jahaad Proctor missed his first contest of the year because of being day-to-day with an ankle injury.
The Panthers return to action Tuesday (Nov. 28) when they travel to the ACC’s Pitt. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.