Sanchez’s First Career Double-Double Not Enough in HPU MBB s Setback to Eagles

Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: Eastern Washington 90, High Point 74
Records: EWU (3-2, 0-0 Big Sky), HPU (0-6, 0-0 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Tuesday, Nov. 26 — vs Greensboro College (Mills Center), 7 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team fell to Eastern Washington on Saturday (Nov. 23) afternoon, 90-74. The Panthers had their best offensive performance of the season, scoring a season-high 74 points, led by sophomore Caden Sanchez who scored a career high 15. Sanchez also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, good enough for a career-high and his first career double-double.

“Caden did a tremendous job for us today, he had 15 points and 13 rebounds, he went 7 for 12, he was battling the big guys on the inside all day long. I thought he was a very bright spot for us in the game,” Head coach Tubby Smith said. “Sanchez has good footwork, he knows how to move around the basket, he knows how to use his up and under moves, he knocked down a couple of jump shots and that’s what we are trying to get him to do more of. We want him to look for his shot he is more mobile than the post guys who guard him and we want him to utilize it and we think that he did in the proper way.”

Freshman Eric Coleman Jr. also added 14 points for the Panthers while Curtis Holland III finished the game with double figures, pitching in 10 points and grabbing two steals.

“If you don’t make shots and you don’t defend the three, those are two of the things you have to do against a team of this caliber and the type of teams we have been playing against,” added Smith. “I know our guys didn’t quit, I like that we hustled to the end, it’s just what we are dealing with during this stretch.”

Eastern Washington came out of the gate firing, opening up the game on a 15-2 run. The Eagles shot 50 percent (7-14) from beyond the arc in the first half and extended the lead to 17 at one point in the opening stanza.

The Panthers clawed back to cut the deficit to five (30-25) with five minutes left in the first, thanks in part to 20 first half points from the charity stripe. High Point finished the game shooting an impressive 83.8% from the line, making 31 of 37 total attempts. Freshman John-Michael Wright led the Panthers scoring in the first half with eight points, going four for four from the free-throw line. Going into the break, Eastern Washington led 41-35.

High Point kept it close coming out of the break, keeping it a five-point game at the 15-minute mark in the second half. A 9-0 run from the Eagles opened the game up, and the Panthers were never able to find their edge again. A jump shot from Sanchez, who scored eight of his 15 points in the second half cut the deficit to single digits at the eight-minute mark, but this was as close as High Point would cut it. High Point never gave up, though, scoring 11 of the game’s final 17 points to make the final score 90-74. The Panthers bench chipped in 23 points in the contest, including eight from senior Jamal Wright and six from sophomore Rob Peterson III.

The Panthers will be back in action at the Mills Center on Tuesday (Nov. 26) when it hosts Greensboro College at 7 p.m.