• High Point fell in its 2018-19 opener at William & Mary, 79-69
• Juniors Jahaad Proctor (25) and Brandonn Kamga (24) combined for 49 points
• Kamga recorded a career-high five steals and had 21 of his 24 points in the second half
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. —The High Point University men’s basketball team dropped the 2018-19 season opener, 79-69, at William & Mary Wednesday (Nov. 7) at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va.
In the second half after the Tribe held an 11-point advantage, HPU came back to tie the game two separate times, but could never take the lead. After William & Mary pushed the lead back to five, a junior Jahaad Proctor jump shot cut the Tribe lead back to 72-69 with 2:11 to go, but a couple W&M free throws and 3-pointer at the end of a shot clock closed out the game.
The Tribe (1-0) shot 49.1 percent from the field (27-55), while the Panthers (0-1) shot 43.3 percent (26-60). HPU was much better in the second half, shooting 48.4 percent to the first half’s 37.9 percentage. High Point had nine steals to the Tribe’s three, while W&M held a small advantage on the boards, 37-35. It was the first game for HPU under new head coach Tubby Smith.
“We missed two free throws to take the lead (in the second half) and they made some big shots as the shot clock was running down, but I love the way our guys competed,” Smith said. “We battled all night with a limited bench, but we’ll develop guys and get guys healthy and we’ll get back. I was very encouraged by our effort tonight and how hard we played.”
Proctor and fellow junior Brandonn Kamga combined for 49 points, as Proctor led all scorers with 25 points, including 15 in the first half. Kamga recorded 21 of his 24 points in the second half. Senior Jordan Whitehead also scored in double figures and was one point shy of his career high with 11 points.
Senior Ricky Madison led HPU with nine rebounds, while Kamga recorded a career-high five steals.
The Tribe had a lead as big as 12 in the first half, opening up a 31-19 advantage with 4:06 remaining, but the Panthers responded with 9-2 run to close the half and cut the W&M lead to 34-30 at the break.
William & Mary was led by Justin Pierce, who had 23 points, and Matt Milon, who added 17 of his 19 points in the second half.
Up next, the Panthers host Wofford in their home opener on Saturday (Nov. 10). Tip-off at the Millis Center is set for 2 p.m.