Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 85, North Florida 74
Records: High Point (1-2), 0-0 Big South), North Florida (0-5, 0-0 A-SUN)
Next HPU Event: Friday, December 11th vs UNC Asheville, 5:00 PM
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team picked up their first win of the 2020-21 season defeating North Florida 85-74. John-Michael Wright led the Panthers in scoring for the third straight game with 23 points on the day. Lydell Elmore had his best performance to date in a High Point uniform dropping 21 points, bringing in six boards and delivering two blocks.
“It was a good win. Finally, we got another win,” Coach Tubby Smith said with a smile. “We had not won in six games going back to last season, it’s been a struggle but we have some talented players. Lydell stepped up and had an outstanding game today, his athleticism and his experience are huge for us. I can’t imagine not having him because we would still be very young. I am glad Lydell chose to come here. Once again John-Michael had an outstanding game, he probably did not shoot as well as he would like but he played some outstanding defense. He is the guy that is the glue for us, when he is playing well we are a tough team to beat.”
High Point was able to control the game from nearly the beginning, in a complete performance by the Panthers. High Point led for 35:47 of the contest and led by as many as 17. The High Point bench played a big role for the Panthers throughout the game but especially in the first half. Freshman Jaden House scored seven points off of the bench in the first half and gave HPU a boost. House finished with eight.
Bryson Childress and Emmanuel Izunabor were new editions to the starting lineup against the Ospreys and made an instant impact. Izunabor recorded his second straight double-digit performance scoring 15 points on the day. Childress logged over 24 minutes and hit a critical three-pointer as part of a 5-0 run in the first half.
Elmore was extremely impressive for HPU, the graduate student scored 21 while going a very efficient 10-15 from the field. With 7:15 to go in the first Ahmil Flowers recorded a steal and found a wide-open Elmore in the paint who finished with an emphatic slam to put HPU up six. Elmore led HPU in scoring in the first half with nine points. Elmore was four points shy of his career-high of 25 points which came against Elizabeth City State last season during his time at Livingstone College.
The defending Big South Player of the Week John-Michael Wright showed why as he once again led HPU in scoring for the third straight game scoring 23 points. The sophomore also had three assists on the day.
The Panther depth was on full display against North Florida. HPU had 12 players enter the game with 10 scoring for the Purple and White. The Panthers led for the entire second half, they led 41-34 at the half and never looked back. A 10-0 run early in the second half created the space HPU needed to break away.
UP NEXT: High Point sees its first Big South Conference action of the year with a trip up to Asheville for a two-game series against UNC-Asheville. The first game is on Friday (Dec 11) at 5:00 pm. The second game will be the next day on Saturday (Dec 12) at 3:00 pm. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.