Site: High Point, N.C. (Qubein Center)
Score: High Point 64, Guilford 59
Records: High Point (5-4), Guilford (4-3)
HIGH POINT, N.C. — A strong second-half performance propelled the High Point University men’s basketball team to a 64-59 victory over Guilford College on Tuesday night in the Qubein Center. John-Michael Wright led the way for the Panthers with 17 points on the night with Bryant Randleman was right behind him finishing with 15 points.
Coach Smith on honoring Coach Steele: It was a special night to be able to honor one of my college coaches, I had three, but Coach Steele was a tremendous influence on me and a lot of players. I am glad we were able to honor him and celebrate his career with Kitty, Cindy, and Jenny, they are a special family. Certainly, Coach Steele was truly as genuine and as caring of a man as I have ever met. He gave me and guys like Dave Odom great guidance and support. He was someone you could call on. He always gave me outstanding advice.
Coach Tubby Smith: We are happy to get the win against a very good Guilford team. I was very impressed with Coach Palombo, he had his team ready to play. They tried a little bit of everything, and they took us out of almost everything we tried to do in the first half. Certainly, have to give kudos to them, they played an unbelievable schedule. I think they have only played one game all year long at home. A tremendous record and they have a tremendous opportunity this year if they can stay healthy because they have some outstanding players.
Wright opened the offense for the Panthers, scoring seven of the first 13 points for the purple and white. Wright helped HPU answer the hot Quaker start. Guilford led by as many as 15 in the first half.
Wright and Randleman lead the way in the first half for HPU as JMW had seven points and Randleman added in six. Guilford led after 20 minutes played inside the Qubein Center 36-21.
Zack Austin got the scoring started for the Panthers on the first shot of the second half as he hit a three-pointer sparking a 10-3 scoring run.
Jaden House drove to the basket scored and was fouled for a three-point play then Austin added a floater to put the Panthers within six of the Quakers with 17 minutes left to play.
Randleman was fouled on a layup making it a three-point play to keep the Panthers within five points of the Quakers with 14:31 to play.
Randleman found himself in an another-and-one situation, adding another three points to his 14 points on the night to keep the offensive momentum on the Panther side.
At the under-12 media timeout, the Panthers fought back to be within three of the Quakers, going 8-11 on field goals in the opening eight minutes of the second half, after making just eight field goals in all of the first half. HPU made a large improvement out of the halftime break.
Wright hit the go-ahead three-pointer for the Panthers with just under eight minutes remaining. JMW’s triple gave HPU a 52-50 advantage which was the Panther’s first lead of the night.
After being deadlocked at 54 for almost three minutes of play, Wright hit his third three-point basket of the night to give HPU a 57-54 lead with 3:20 remaining.
Jaden House extended the Panther lead to 61-55 with his first completed three-point attempt of the night with 1:19 remaining.
The Panthers sealed the deal as Emmanuel Izunabor completed both of his free throw attempts to give the Panthers a four-point lead with just under 10 seconds remaining.
UP NEXT: HPU will travel to Rock Hill, SC for a neutral site game against South Carolina State in the No Room for Racism Classic. Tip-off is set for 7 pm and the game will be streamed on ESPN+.