HPU MBB Closes Out the Decade at Millis with a Victory

Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 92, Belmont Abbey 66
Records: HPU (3-9, 0-0 Big South), BAC (9-3, 0-0 CC),
Next HPU Event: Monday, Dec. 30 — at Texas (Austin, Texas), 7 p.m. CT

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team got back to its winning ways and concluded the decade at Mills Center with a 92-66 victory over Belmont Abbey on Saturday (Dec. 21) afternoon.

“I thought it was the most complete game we have had all year, Belmont Abbey is coming off a game last night I thought we wore them down.” Head Coach Tubby Smith said. When you shoot the way we did today and defend the way we did, I thought we did a good job and we took care of the basketball. Curtis had his best game ever, he shot the ball extremely well. A lot of things went well for us today.”

HPU was led by sophomore Curtis Holland III, who scored a career-high 25 points while shooting 8-11 from and the field and 6-9 from beyond the arc, which was also a career-high. Holland’s six made three-pointers marks a team-best this season. The Panthers had five players in double digits in scoring, the first time of this occurrence since February 2, 2019 vs Hampton.

“I picked and chose my spots today and shot when I was open, I think when I got the first few to go my confidence rose and then when I was open I shot with confidence.” Curtis Holland III said.

Freshman John-Michael Wright started the scoring with a three-pointer in the corner and the Panthers never looked back, leading by as much as 21 (47-26) in the first half. Leading by three (19-16) midway through the half, HPU would go on a 15-0 run to extend the lead to double digits. Throughout that span, the Panthers went 6-6 from the field and a perfect 3-3 from downtown.

The Panthers shot 41.2 percent from beyond the arc while shooting a first half season-high seven three-pointers in the opening stanza.

Belmont Abbey would not go down without a fight in the second stanza, outscoring the hosts 17-8 in the early minutes to cut the HPU lead to as short as 12.

In the later stages of the second half, HPU put the game out of reach thanks in part to a 13-0 run that started at the 10:33 mark.

HPU recorded 26 assists as a team, the first time it’s had over 20 rebounds since March 2, 2019, at UNC Asheville. Junior Denny Slay II led the team with seven assists.

Two Panthers picked up their first career points tonight, John-Michael Hughes scored three points in the contest as he was fouled as he was shooting and scored the basket, then made the free throw. Ryan Ayers scored his first points in a High Point uniform ending the night with two points.

The Panthers will return to action for their final game of the decade when they travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Longhorns. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will televised on Longhorn Network.