High Point Men’s Basketball Drops Nail-biter at Longwood

Site: Farmville, Va. (Willett Hall)
Score: Longwood 57, High Point 54
Records: HPU (9-20, 6-10 Big South), LU (13-17, 8-9 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Thursday, Feb. 27 — vs UNC Asheville (Millis Center), 7 p.m.

FARMVILLE, Va. – High Point University men’s basketball team came back from a seven-point deficit late in the second half but were unable to hang on in a 57-54 loss on Saturday night (Feb. 22) at Longwood.

The Panthers jumped out to an early 10-6 lead at 12:43 of the opening half after a Cliff Thomas Jr. layup that capped off an 8-0 run. HPU would continue to hold a slim lead throughout the majority of the first stanza, which included 11 points from redshirt sophomore Caden Sanchez.

Longwood regained the advantage at 3:04 after a DeShaun Wade three-pointer and took a 23-20 lead into halftime, despite a buzzer-beating tip-in from Sanchez off an inbound pass by sophomore Rob Peterson III.

The second half started with a Lancers three-pointer, however, HPU proceeded on a 6-0 run to tie it at 26-all after a John-Michael Wright layup.

The hosts took their largest lead of the night (seven) with 8:35 left in the contest before the Panthers regained the lead for the first time since the early stages of the opening half. Thanks in part to five points from junior Denny Slay II, High Point would go on a 15-7 run within a four-minute span to go up 49-46 with 4:02 left in regulation.

Both teams traded baskets in the final minutes with Longwood regaining a small lead, before Slay came up big again at 2:03 with a jumper just inside the perimeter to tie in at 51-apeice.

After the Lancers got a layup and a pair of free throws from Juan Munoz, Slay again found the score sheet with a layup to make it a two-point game, but Munoz kept the lead in Longwood’s favor with two more points from the charity stripe to seal the win for the hosts.

Sanchez finished with a team-high 13 points while shooting 50% (6-12) from the field, while Slay chipped in with 10 points off the bench. Peterson finished with nine points and team-high nine boards.

HPU will return home on Thursday (Feb. 27) for the final regular season contest at Millis Center, as HPU will be moving to the Qubein Arena next season. The Panthers will also be honoring their two seniors, Cliff Thomas Jr. and Jamal Wright, prior to Thursday’s contest that is set to tip off at 7 p.m.