Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 81, Presbyterian 57
Records: High Point (4-8), 2-5 Big South, Presbyterian (3-8), 1-6 Big South
Next HPU Event: Monday, January 25th vs. Presbyterian (Millis Center), 6:00 PM
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team picked up an impressive 81-57 point win over Presbyterian on Sunday afternoon. The team was led by freshman Ahmil Flowers who had a career-high 20 points. John-Michael Wright also found himself all over the stat sheet, scoring 19 points while also adding eight assists and three steals. Lydell Elmore was the third Panther in double digits as he scored 11 points and brought in a game-high 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
“It was one of the better games we played this year we did a good job of starting aggressive and staying aggressive, Head Coach Tubby Smith said. “We matched Presbyterian’s physicality, I know they did not play their best game and I know Coach Ferrell will have them ready tomorrow. When you have these back to back games and you win by the margin that we did you have to be careful about getting comfortable. We know we have to come back and play with the same intensity that we did today. I was impressed with Ahmil (Flowers) and Lydell (Elmore) they did a good job it was great to have John Michael back today as well.”
The Panthers opened up the game on a 6-1 run led by four points from Emmanuel Izunabor. Flowers drew a charge early in the first half, providing an energy spark for the team that translated to the offense. Flowers finished the first half with 18 points, going 6-7 from the field.
With 8:56 to play in the first half, Flowers drove to the basket and was fouled, setting up a three-point play. Flowers hit the free-throw, giving him 15 points and a new career-high in the first twenty minutes of play. By the under-eight media timeout, High Point stretched its lead to nine going up 26-17.
An emphatic block from Elmore shortly after the timeout got the bench on their feet and kept the Blue Hose at bay. They stayed on their feet as the team went on a 16-6 run to close the half and took a 46-26 lead into the break.
“Our players that were on the bench were engaged,” Coach Smith said. “Especially Rob (Peterson) he is like our ring leader when it comes to energy he is always in the ears of our guys. Being back home was the key for us today.”
At the half, the Panthers were shooting 51.6% as they went 16-31 from the field in a half that was filled with high intensity and high efficiency. It was High Point’s most efficient shooting half of the year since their 56% second half against William & Mary on December 19, 2020.
Presbyterian came out of the break ready to play, scoring the first seven points of the second half. High Point quickly responded with a 12-1 run of their own, highlighted by an Elmore dunk. Elmore finished the game with a double-double scoring 11 points while also collecting 11 rebounds. The Elmore dunk marked the 25th dunk of the season which passes the total of 24 dunks the Panthers had a season ago. The Panthers kept the steady lead, taking a 67-45 advantage into the under-eight media timeout. Presbyterian tried pressuring High Point, switching to a full-court press in the second half, but the Panthers were still able to score over 80 points ending with a total of 81.
The Panthers finished the game shooting 50.9%, the hottest shooting performance for a Tubby Smith-coached High Point team since Western Carolina back on Dec. 15 2018 where HPU finished the game with a shooting percentage of 66.7%.
It was the Panther’s third game in six days and the Panthers came ready to play as Sunday afternoon’s performance marked HPU’s largest margin of victory of the season as the Panthers won by 24 points.
UP NEXT: The Panthers look to follow up today’s game with another strong performance against the Blue Hose for the final game of this Big South series tomorrow (Jan. 25). The game will be available to watch tomorrow on ESPN+ with tip-off at 6:00 PM.