HPU MBB Panthers Drop Close Road Contest to Hampton

Site: Hampton, Va. (Hampton University Convocation Center)
Score: Hampton 76, High Point 71
Records: High Point (7-10), 5-7 Big South, Hampton University (8-9), 7-5 Big South
Next HPU Event: Thursday, Feb. 11th vs. Charleston Southern (Millis Center), 6:00 PM

HAMPTON, Va. — The High Point University men’s basketball team (7-10) (5-7) fell to Hampton (8-9) (7-5) 76-71 on Monday (Feb. 8) evening. John-Michael Wright led HPU in scoring as he did the night before, the sophomore recorded 20 points on Monday night and was one board shy of a double-double with nine. Jaden House scored 17 points providing a big spark off of the bench for The Panthers. Lydell Elmore was in double digits for the seventh game in a row as he scored 10 points and had eight rebounds.

“It was a tale of two halves tonight,” Coach Tubby Smith said after the game. “I have to give them credit, Coach Joyner did a good job getting his team fired up in the second half. We had a sixteen-point lead at one point in time but they started knocking down threes and that is something that they do extremely well. Our problem is we cannot seem to finish around the basket we were intimidated by their shot blocker Dajour Dickens. He did not put a lot of points on the board but had seven blocks which is just outstanding. We have struggled shooting the ball two nights in a row. We got lucky last night because we were phenomenal on the boards and it was their first game back. It looks like they got their legs back under them and Hampton’s kids played extremely well.”

The Pirates got off to a hot start hitting four three-pointers in the first six minutes of the contest. Hampton had a 13-9 lead with 14:45 to play in the first. House subbed into the game with 13:46 remaining in the first. After missing his first shot House hit a layup and then a three-pointer for a quick five points off the bench. House’s three-pointer gave HPU a 16-15 lead with 11:31 to play in the first. It was HPU’s first lead of the night. This kicked off a streak of three-point shooting for House as he came down and hit two more threes to put High Point up 22-17 with 9:22 to go in the first. In about five minutes off the bench, the freshman had exploded for 11 points.

Elmore scored a layup and then a slam as he extended the Panther lead to ten with 3:12 remaining in the first half. The next offensive possession Elmore laid one up and in to give HPU a 12-point lead, 36-24. The Panthers led 41-28 at halftime.

An 8-3 Pirate run to start the second half brought the High Point lead down to eight. The Panthers answered with a run of their own, Bryant Randleman drove to the rim and was fouled for a three-point play which made the score 47-36 with 16:56 left to play. House picked up where he left off in the first and hit a three to extend the lead to 14. After a Panther stop, Alex Holt scored a lay-up to take the score to 52-36 with 15:21 remaining in the game. Holt’s basket gave HPU a 16-point lead, which would be its largest of the day.

Hampton answered with a 15-2 run to bring themselves with three, 54-51 with 10:42 left in the game. Hampton took its first lead of the second half with a three-pointer with 8:14 remaining. A technical foul on Hampton sent Wright to the line where he hit both free throws to put the Panthers back up 58-57. The Pirates came down and would score to take a two-point lead twice, Wright answered with jumpers both times to tie the game at 62 with 6:14 left. A 10-2 Hampton run put the Pirates up eight with 2:39 to go. Denny Slay II and Randleman each hit layups to make it a four-point game, 72-68 with 1:16 to play. HPU got the ball back after a Hampton turnover with 45 seconds to play with the score still 72-68, JMW got a good look at a three that did not fall.

The Pirates would hold on and win 76-71. The Hampton win stopped HPU’s winning streak at three.

UP NEXT: The Panthers return home to the Millis Center after two road Big South series’ to host Charleston Southern (1-15) for a two-game series on Thursday (2/11) and Friday (2/12). Both games tip-off at 6:00 PM and will be streamed on ESPN+.