Site: High Point, N.C. (Qubein Center)
Score: High Point 66, Georgia State 74
Records: High Point (2-3), Georgia State (4-1)
HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball lost in overtime 74-66 to Georgia State in the championship game of the Legends Classic hosted in the Qubein Center. The Panthers battled all afternoon with Georgia State and had a shot to take the lead with 24 seconds remaining in the game that would not fall. HPU battled in overtime before losing by eight in an exciting game that was back and forth the entire affair. John-Michael Wright and Jaden House led the Panthers with 17 points each. Zack Austin had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Coach Tubby Smith: I want to commend and congratulate Georgia State they had an excellent game plan I thought they executed well. They did a better job at the end, we just got outcoached. I was really impressed. We did a good job on the boards but once again the same issue that we had yesterday was taking care of the basketball.
Coach Smith on the Qubein Center crowd: I was really impressed with our fans and the environment. I thought it was a wonderful environment to play in. I told our players how can you not be excited about playing here in the Qubein Center, but our guys fought hard. We fought through adversity and got the game to overtime even when things looked dire, that was impressive.
The Panthers jumped out to a 9-4 lead at the first media timeout in the first half. Austin provided the early highlights with a deep three-pointer and a block on a Georgia State layup that he sent three rows deep into the student section. After a Georgia State turnover, Austin buried another three as the Panthers extended their lead to 12-4.
Georgia State rallied back and evened the score at 15-15 before a House midrange jumper gave the Panthers a 17-15 lead with 11:06 to go in the first half.
Both defenses rose to the occasion and points were at a premium in the middle portion of the first half. Bryson Childress broke the HPU scoring drought with a long three-pointer to extend the Panthers’ lead to 20-16 with 8:41 to go in the first. The Childress three was the first triple since Austin’s pair to start the game.
The offenses began to pick up as Georgia State took their largest lead of the first half at 27-22. However, a bucket in the paint by Rob Peterson and a pull-up jumper from Wright cut the lead to 26-27 with 4:30 to go.
Georgia State pulled ahead 32-27, but the Purple and White continued to battle. House buried a three on a play that had beautiful ball movement from the HPU offense and culminated in an assist from Randleman to cut the deficit to two at 30-32.
A bucket and two free throws from Georgia State extended their lead to 36-30 at the break. HPU shot 52.2% from the field in the first half and House was the leading scorer for the Panthers with 8 points.
The Panthers’ offense started off with a bang in the second half on a Wright three on a dish from Austin to cut the deficit to four at 34-38. Georgia State extended their lead to 47-38 before Wright hit a jumper and was fouled on the play. Wright made the free throw to cut the deficit to 41-47.
Heading into the under 12:00 timeout, Austin was fouled on a three-point shot. Austin hit two out of three to make it a 47-43 game with 11:27 to play. House then scored in the paint on a layup on a dish from Peterson to cut it to 47-45.
The teams traded baskets before Austin hit another triple, this time on a fast break to keep the deficit at two points at 53-51 with 8:45 to go in the game.
HPU took their first lead of the second half when Wright buried a three from the corner on an assist from Randleman to give the Panthers a 56-55 lead with 5:03 to go.
Both teams traded baskets and Georgia State was leading 59-57 before Wright dished to a cutting Peterson off a double team to tie the game at 59-59 with 1 minute to go.
Randleman stripped a Georgia State player with a steal but both teams missed baskets in the final minute to take the lead and the Panthers headed to their first overtime of the young 2021-22 season.
After a Georgia State three-pointer, Randleman hit a huge step-back jumper as the shot clock was winding down to keep HPU down two 64-62. Georgia State went on 8-0 run and held on to win 74-66 in overtime. The Panthers finished the game shooting 41.4% from the field and finished with 6 blocks in the game. Austin, who is tied for 9th in the NCAA in blocks, added two more to get him to 17 through 5 games.
John-Michael Wright and Jaden House were named to the Legend’s Classic All-Tournament team. Wright had 37 points over the two games while House had 31 over both tournament games.
UP NEXT: HPU will stay at home for Thanksgiving Break and will compete on Saturday, November 27th. The Panthers will play Chowan and tip-off is set for 2 pm.