• The Panthers fell in their Big South opener at Winthrop, 76-60
• High Point forced the Eagles into 25 turnovers
• The Panthers had a season-high 19 steals, the eighth-most in a single game in HPU’s Division I history
ROCK HILL, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team fell in its Big South opener at Winthrop, 76-60, Saturday afternoon (Dec. 30) at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Panthers (5-7, 0-1 Big South) were limited to 31.7 percent shooting (20-63), while the Eagles (7-5, 1-0) shot 50.0 percent (24-48) from the field. Winthrop had the advantage on the glass, 43-30 in rebounds, and had seven blocks the Panthers’ one.
High Point caused 25 Winthrop turnovers and had a season-high 19 steals, which was the eighth-most in a single game in HPU’s Division I history. Sophomore Jamal Wright led the team with a career-high five steals.
“Defensively we did a really good job turning them over 25 times, but we didn’t capitalize on those opportunities,” HPU head coach Scott Cherry said. “We have to get better offensively. We put too much pressure on the defense to sustain that throughout a game.”
Junior Andre Fox had 21 points to lead HPU, the sixth time he has scored 20 or more points this season. Fox had six 20-plus point games in 2016-17.
Soohomore Jahaad Proctor added 12, while sophomore Brandonn Kamga and freshman Justyn Mutts each had seven.
After a Fox layup with 16:59 to go cut the Eagle lead to 37-33, Winthrop went on a 15-5 run over the next seven minutes to open the game up at 52-38. The closest the Panthers would get is nine at 57-48.
In the first half, the Panthers forced 13 Eagle turnovers and had 10 steals, but only shot 25.0 percent from the field (8-32) as Winthrop took a 30-29 lead at the break.
High Point fell to 11-8 in conference openers since joining the Big South in the 1999-2000 season.
The Panthers return to action Wednesday (Jan. 3, 2018) to host UNC Asheville. Tip-off at the Millis Center is set for 7 p.m.