HPU MBB Panthers Drop Contest to Spartans on New Year’s Eve

Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: USC Upstate 60, High Point 51
Records: High Point (3-6), 1-3 Big South, USC Upstate (1-9), 1-3 Big South
Next HPU Event: Monday, January 4th VS Campbell, 2:00 PM

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball fell to USC Upstate on Thursday (Dec. 31) 60-51. Bryson Childress was the leading scorer with 17 points on the night, it was the freshman’s best performance to date for HPU. Lydell Elmore posted the first double-double of his High Point career as he scored 12 points and brought in a team-best 13 rebounds. Freshman Ahmil Flowers finished with eight points while fellow newcomer Jaden House had seven points on the night.

“It’s been a disappointment in the way we have been rebounding the ball in the last few games.” Coach Tubby Smith said. “We just have to figure out a way to get to the boards. I thought we did a good job defending Nevin Zink, he was the one who hurt us last night but then Everette Hammond stepped up. We were able to take the lead late but couldn’t get into a real rhythm.”

USC Upstate jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game with two threes in the first three minutes of the game. HPU immediately answered as Childress and House hit two threes to tie the game at six with 15:38 to go in the first half. Childress and House scored 14 of HPU’s first 16 points. The Panthers were able to push their lead to seven after an Elmore jumper made it 22-15 with 7:07 to go in the first half. Elmore picked up his ninth rebound of the game with 5:29 left to play in the first half.

The Panthers experienced their largest lead of the game with 2:47 left to play in the first half as a Bryant Randleman fast-break layup extended the HPU lead to 11. The Spartans scored three baskets to end the first half which made it a 28-23 High Point lead at the half. Childress led the Panthers in scoring at halftime as he had nine points on the three triples. He went 3-4 from three-point land in the first half.

Upstate used an 8-4 run to start the second half and tied the game at 31 with 17:11 to play. The Spartans extended their lead to six with 10:18 to play. Childress quickly cut the lead in half with a three, followed by a Randleman layup which made it 39-38 with 9:18 to go. After a turnover, Childress quickly drove to the rim and laid it in which gave the Panthers a 40-39 lead. The two sides continued to match each other over the next two minutes.

Caden Sanchez gave HPU a 44-43 advantage after he laid one in with 6:06 to play. A Spartan free throw put Upstate up one. Childress stepped up again for The Purple and White as he nailed a three to put HPU up 47-44 with less than five to play. Out of the last media time out, Upstate went on an 8-0 to take the lead and regain control.

UP NEXT: The Panthers travel to Campbell face the Fighting Camels in a two-game Big South Series on Monday, January 4th, and Tuesday, January 5th. Both games will start at 2:00 each day and both will be streamed live on ESPN+.