Written by HPU Sports Information:
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The High Point University men's basketball team pulled away late to pick up a 74-62 win over Coastal Carolina in Big South action on Saturday night at the Millis Center. Four different HPU players finished in double-digits in the win. HPU improved its Big South North Division-leading record to 8-3.
"We got contributions from a lot of different guys tonight, this was a good win over a good Coastal Carolina team" said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. "We settled for too many perimeter shots in the first half but we worked harder to get the ball into the post in the second half. We got some defensive stops and that was the key. We've just got to stay humble and stay focused to reach our goal of winning a regular-season championship."
Graduate student Allan Chaney and junior Derrell Edwards each had 15 points to lead all scorers. Edwards shot 4-for-5 from behind the arc for the Panthers, getting new career highs in both points and three-pointers. Junior Dejuan McGaughey and redshirt-freshman John Brown also finished in double-figures on the night with 12 and 10 points respectfully.
Badou Diagne finished with 13 points and seven rebounds to lead the Chanticleers. Anthony Raffa scored 12 points in the contest and Michel Enanga had 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.
High Point improved to 13-10 overall and the 8-3 Big South mark put HPU a game and a half ahead of VMI (6-4) in the North Division of the Big South. Coastal Carolina fell to 11-11 overall and 6-5 in the Big South.
High Point entered the second half down by three (33-30) and the teams went nearly shot-for-shot in the first few minutes. Three-straight points from HPU's Brown tied the game at 39-39 and started a 13-2 run by the Panthers that resulted in a 49-41 HPU lead with 14 minutes remaining. Five different High Point players scored during the run. Back-to-back three-pointers by Edwards and senior Branimir Mikulic made it 47-41 and the Panthers led the rest of the way.
Coastal Carolina managed one more major challenge in the game, pulling within a point (52-51) on a tip-in by Tristian Curtis with 8:40 remaining. The Panthers turned it around with a 20-2 run over the next seven minutes and took their largest lead of the game, 71-53, with 1:23 remaining. Chaney scored five points and both Edwards and Brown had four during the deciding run. Back-to-back treys by Coastal made it closer but HPU's lead never dropped below 10 in the final minute.
The first half was marked by back-and-forth scoring. Edwards gave the Panthers their first lead of the game, 10-7, after hitting back-to-back three-pointers with 15 minutes to go in the half. Coastal's Enanga answered with back-to-back lay-ups of his own and started an 11-2 run for the Chanticleers to put them up 18-12. The Panthers came out of a timeout and took a 19-18 lead on a trey by McGaughy and it was close the rest of the half. The Chanticleers' lead crept up to a four with 36 seconds left, but a free-throw from Adam Weary made it 33-30 at the break.
Weary set a career-high with seven assists to go along with eight points, three steals and two blocks.
HPU's 74 points were most given up by Coastal Carolina in conference play this season. The Chanticleers had allowed an average of just 58.2 points in 10 previous Big South games.
High Point's next three games are on the road starting Wednesday when High Point travels to Longwood for a 7 p.m. matchup. The teams met on Jan. 30 at the Millis Center with the Panthers taking an 88-60 win.
HPU/ WFMY News 2 Sports