JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The High Point University men’s basketball team was unable to contain the nation’s best perimeter shooting team, falling 93-70 on Monday evening (Dec. 2) to University of North Florida.
“We’ve had trouble guarding the three-ball all year long,” said head coach Tubby Smith. “We have faced some good three-point shooting teams, but we played better tonight than we did in last week’s win to be honest with you, even if the score did not seem like it. Our scorers have to score and they weren’t able to tonight.”
The Panthers kept the game within reach in the early going, as sophomore Curtis Holland III hit a pair of threes in the early minutes of the first half to tie the game at 10 apiece.
A three pointer by junior Denny Slay II at the eight minute mark of the first cut the deficit to two points, then HPU took its lone lead of the night when freshman John-Michael Wright hit a shot from beyond the arc for a 17-16 advantage.
The Ospreys would respond with a pair of 9-0 runs, stretching their lead to as many as 15 points in the opening stanza.
North Florida hit a pair of threes to start the half to take biggest lead of the night (19).
Carter Hendricksen - who finished with a game-high 23 points - gave NFU its biggest lead of the night (20, 69-49) 11:05 mark with his fourth three-pointer of the second half. The hosts never looked back thanks in part to shooting 47.4 percent (9-19) from beyond the arc in the second half (17-35 overall).
Freshman Eric Coleman Jr. scored a team-leading 14 points, which ties his career high, while Holland III chipped in with 12 points. Redshirt-junior Cliff Thomas Jr. added a season-high 11 points to give HPU three scorers in double-digits.
The Panthers will return to High Point on Thursday (Dec. 5) when it hosts in-state rival Elon at 7 p.m. This will be the first time the programs have faced off against one another since the 2006-07 season.
A fan tailgate will take place prior to the contest with free food and cash bar for the first 500 fans. Also, there will be a Christmas sweater giveaway to students in attendance.