Site: Williamsburg, Va. (Kaplan Arena)
Score: High Point 71, William & Mary 49
Records: High Point (2-4), 0-2 Big South), William & Mary (2-2), 0-0 CAA
Next HPU Event: Saturday, December 22th VS Eastern Kentucky, 7:00 PM
Williamsburg, Va. – The High Point University men’s basketball team won big 71-49 over William & Mary on the road in Williamsburg on Saturday (Dec. 19) afternoon. The Panthers 22-point win over the Tribe was powered by balanced scoring from High Point. John-Michael Wright and Lydell Elmore each scored 14 points in the win, Bryson Childress scored a career high 12 points in the win all from three-point range. Ahmil Flowers finished in double digits as well with 10.
“I thought our execution was superb,” Coach Tubby Smith said after the win. “We caught them a little flat footed but they are an outstanding team with an outstanding coach. We just played at another level today and that is what we need to do if we are going to win. We had balanced scoring which is something that we haven’t had. We had four guys in double figures, I think that was huge. The inside presence of Lydell with his ability to change shots, he got on the boards today. It was a total team win and we finally played a complete game.”
High Point started the game hot as the Panthers went on a 14-0 run in the first 12:44 of the game. Wright scored six quick points to power the run for HPU. Childress put an exclamation point on the run with two consecutive three-pointers to push the lead to 16. With ten minutes to go in the first half, Elmore stepped up and made his presence known. Elmore recorded two dunks in the first half which marks the fifth game in a row Elmore has dunked. Elmore’s dunk with 2:52 to go in the first half was maybe his most spectacular yet as he soared to the rim and threw down a thunderous slam with two hands.
William & Mary scored to end the Panther run after being held scoreless nearly ten minutes which made it 14-2 with 12:11 to go. Jaden House answered back right away with a three to extend the Panther lead to 15. The Panthers continued to score a steady rate and saw their lead reach as much as 18 in the first half. HPU went into halftime leading by 16. High Point’s defense was on full display as they held William & Mary to only 15 points in the first half which is the fewest points the Panthers have allowed in a half this season or all of last season as well.
The Tribe scored two baskets in the last minute of the first half, Wright swung the momentum back in favor of the Panthers to start the second half with five quick points. His three-pointer brought the lead up to 21. With 10:42 to go in the second half, Childress hit a deep three to give himself 12 points and a 23-point lead. Wright came down moments later and scored and was fouled. The three-point play by Wright made it 53-27 and put HPU up by 26 points which was the largest lead of the day.
The Panthers never trailed in Saturday’s contest. HPU led for 37:18 and experienced its largest run of the day with their game-opening 14-0 run. The Panthers nearly saw two double-doubles as Flowers had 10 points and seven rebounds, Elmore scored 14 points and brought in seven boards as well. Caden Sanchez also had seven rebounds on the day. HPU outrebounded the tribe 42-30. It was HPU’s second game this season with five or more made three-pointers as HPU recorded seven made triples on the day. The Purple and White shot a very efficient 50% field goal percentage in the game while shooting 56% in the second half. The Panthers finished with four players in double digits and had 17 assists on 28 made baskets.
UP NEXT: The Panthers travel to Richmond, Ky to face Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday (Dec. 22) at 7:00pm.