Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 80, Presbyterian 72
Records: HPU (9-19, 6-9 Big South), PC (9-19. 6-9 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, Feb. 22 — at Longwood (Farmville, Va.), 7 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Freshman Eric Coleman Jr. scored a season-high 30 points to help lead High Point University men’s basketball to an 82-70 win over Presbyterian on Thursday (Feb. 20) evening.
Coleman – who scored 20 of his 30 points in the second half – finished the game shooting 7-9 from the field and a season-best 4-5 from beyond the arc.
“We beat a good team tonight,” said head coach Tubby Smith. “We are getting better. I am really pleased with our freshmen, especially Eric, he played really well, along with the other fellow freshmen. We are getting better, starting to understand how to play the game, and when you play the right way good things happen.”
The two teams played a tight contest that saw six lead changes in the opening half. Coleman gave the Panthers a four-point (13-9) lead in the first period with a jumper at 13:26 to cap off a 9-0 run. The freshman scored seven of the teams nine points within that frame. Presbyterian ended the opening stanza on a 5-0 run and took what would be its biggest lead of the night (six) into halftime, 38-32.
The Panthers started the second half on a 9-0 run to regain the lead, including a steal and fast break slam by freshman John-Michael Wright 2:12 into the period, which tied the contest at 38 apiece.
Presbyterian brought it back to a one-possession game with 7:48 remaining (63-60). HPU proceeded on a 12-5 run, which included a three by Coleman and ended with a layup by fellow classmate Bryant Randleman to push the hosts lead to double digits (75-65) with 1:42 left in the contest.
Randleman tied his season-best with 11 points, going a perfect 4-4 from the field and contributed with a season-high three steals. Redshirt sophomore Caden Sanchez chipped in with 13 points off 5-7 shooting and two blocks.
“We have a critical road game coming up on Saturday,” added Smith “They (Longwood) have beat us five straight times now, so we need to figure out a way to get a win there.”
The Panthers head back on the road on Saturday (Feb. 22) when they travel to Longwood. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.