HPU Men’s Basketball Can’t Hold on to Early Lead in Loss at Presbyterian

Site: Clinton, S.C. (Templeton Center)
Score: Presbyterian 77, High Point 62
Records: PC (6-10, 3-0 Big South), HPU (3-13. 0-3 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Thursday, Jan. 16 — at UNC Asheville (Asheville, S.C.) 6 p.m.

CLINTON, S.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team was unable to hold on to an early first half lead, falling to Presbyterian 77-62 Saturday (Jan. 11) afternoon in Big South Conference action.

Freshman John-Michael Wright kicked off the game with a pair of three-pointers and saw HPU control the game in the early going and start the contest going 4-6 from downtown. The Panthers would lead by as many as six at the ten minute mark after a pair of free throws by redshirt junior Cliff Thomas Jr.

The Blue Hose took their first lead (23-21) of the evening with a three-pointer by Zeb Graham with 4:16 left in the opening stanza. The hosts proceeded on a 6-0 run to take the largest lead of the first half (seven) until a Jamal Wright layup with little over a minute to go cut the Presbyterian lead to five heading into the half.

High Point kept the deficit within single digits and cut it to within five (46-41) at the 10-minute mark before the Blue Hose pushed their lead to double digits, leading by as many as twenty. HPU held the hosts to 31.6% from the field in the opening half, but the Blue Hose erupted for 52% in the second half including 60% (6-10) from beyond the arc.

The Panthers went 4-8 from the perimeter in the opening period but were held to just one three-pointer in the second half.

John-Michael Wright led the team with 15 points his team-leading seventh time and the 12th time he has recorded double digits in scoring.

Thomas Jr. continued his impressive play of late and finished with 14 points, his fourth double digit scoring effort in the last five games.

HPU concludes its two-game road swing on Thursday (Jan. 16) when it travels to UNC Asheville. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.