HPU MBB Drops Hard-Fought Contest to Notre Dame in South Bend

Site: South Bend, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center)
Score: High Point 61, Notre Dame 70
Records: High Point (1-2), Notre Dame (2-0)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The High Point University men’s basketball fell to ACC opponent Notre Dame 70-61 on the ACC Network on Tuesday (Nov. 16) night. John-Michael Wright and Jaden House led HPU in scoring with 17 points each. With his 17-point performance House tied his career-best for points. The Panthers have a history of playing Power-5 schools closely the 70-61 result was the 14th time a game between HPU, and a Power-5 was decided by less than ten points.

Coach Tubby Smith: I thought once again it was a tale of two halves. We had the same issue at Northwestern. When you’re playing against power five programs like this where size makes a difference. You can see what problems had rebounding the basketball tonight. We were handled on the boards 54 to 36. Our free-throw shooting hurt us down the stretch we missed a few one on ones, we went 12-20 but those are things we can correct. I’m not happy but I am pleased with our effort in the second half tonight.

Coach Smith on lessons learned against Northwestern carried into tonight’s matchup with Irish: “We did a good job defending the three they were 6-31. But they got too many second chances with 19 offensive rebounds, but we learned to guard the three, we did a better job of handling the screens. We just have to learn how to play without fouling. Overall, I thought our effort was good.”

Panther Particulars

HPU jumped out to a 10-6 lead to start the night with Wright providing eight of HPU’s ten in the first three minutes of the game.

Wright kept the offense going nailing a three out of the first media time out of the game to put the Panthers up 13-8 with 14:13 to play in the first half.

Before the Panthers could jump out to a large lead on the road Notre Dame answered back to tie the game at 17 with less than 12 to play.

With 9:22 left in the first half, a driving Wright was able to dish it to an open Caden Sanchez in the paint who finished it to make it 22-22.

HPU got a big stop in the latter parts of the first half as Bryant Randleman was able to create a steal then drove to the basket, laid it in, and drew the foul for the and one.

Randleman drove hard to the rim for a quick two that put HPU up by two. HPU took a 33-32 lead into the break.

In the opening moments of the second half, Wright hit a three to keep HPU in front 36-34.

Notre Dame went on a run early in the second half and got up by as many as 11. With less than ten to play the Panthers started to chip away at the lead. After a pair of Wright free throws and a clutch lay-up by Alex Holt, it was 51-45.

With 8 minutes left the Fighting Irish tried to pull away again but a Zack Austin three-pointer brought the Irish lead down to single digits.

With less than five to go HPU once again pulled its way back within ten as Randleman drove the basket scored and was fouled.

With four minutes to go, Austin hit another three-pointer to make it only a nine-point lead again for Notre Dame with the score of 63-54.

Notre Dame went on to win 70-61 the Panthers kept it within nine points.

UP NEXT: HPU plays to host the Legend’s Classic at High Point University as HPU will take on Howard on Saturday at 2:00 PM. At 5:00 PM William & Mary will face Georgia State. Both winning teams will play against each other on Sunday at 2:00 PM. The remaining teams will play at 5:00 PM in the consolation game on Sunday to wrap up the Legend’s Classic at the HPU event.