Written by HPU Sports Information Department:
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The High Point University men's basketball team led by 14 at halftime and shot almost 60 percent from the floor in a 96-69 win over VMI on Wednesday night in the Millis Center. Graduate student Allan Chaney scored 19 points, leading four Panthers in double-figures. Redshirt-senior Corey Law scored 11 points with eight rebounds.
"It was a big win for us," said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. "We talked about the standings and how this was a big game against one of the teams in our division. Our guys responded with a total team effort. Our points guards, Jairus Simms and Dejuan McGaughy combined for 12 assists and no turnovers, we scored 58 points in the paint. Allan and John [Brown] did what they do. It was a total team effort."
Chaney scored his 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting and redshirt-freshman John Brown shot 7-for-10 from the field to finish with 17 points on the night. Law's 11 points matched his season high and sophomore Devante Wallace also came off the bench to score 11, including three three-pointers. Senior Jairus Simms was one below his career high with eight assists and he had no turnovers in the game.
VMI senior Stan Okoye, who is leading the Big South in scoring, finished with a game-high 20 points along with six rebounds despite fouling out with seven minutes to play. Junior forward D.J. Covington added 13 points and sophomore Brian Brown finished with 11 for the Keydets. VMI had been averaging 80.2 points per game before the Panthers held them to 69.
With the win, High Point improved to 9-9 overall and 4-2 in the Big South. The loss was VMI's second in a row, dropping the Keydets to 9-9 overall and 4-2 in the Big South. VMI and High Point are tied for second in the North Division of the Big South.
Both teams came out of the gate hot, trading baskets before the Panthers went on a 17-2 run to pull ahead, 34-20. Brown started the run with a layup and five different players scored. Brown, Law and Weary had two buckets each. The Panthers maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game, going into halftime with a 53-39 lead thanks to a thunderous dunk by Law with just a second remaining.
High Point continued its strong play at the start of the second half. HPU opened the period with a 10-4 run to take a 20 point lead (63-43) on an alley-oop dunk from McGaughy to Law. The lead grew as high as 35 (92-57) with 3:39 remaining before the Panthers ultimately ran the clock out with the score 96-69.
Eleven different players scored for HPU. Freshman Haiishen McIntyre came off the bench to score a career-high eight points, going 3-for-4 from the floor.
The 96 points by the Panthers were most against a Div. I opponent since a 98-60 win over Campbell last February. HPU's 53 first-half points were most in a half this season. High Point shot 58.6 percent (41-70) from the floor in the game and posted a season-high 24 assists on 41 made baskets. The 24 assists came with just five turnovers.
The Panthers next travel to Asheville on Saturday for a 2 p.m. conference tilt with UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs are 10-10 overall and 4-2 in the Big South heading into the weekend following a 63-60 home win over Coastal Carolina.
HPU/ WFMY News 2 Sports