The momentum gained from Thursday night’s win over Presbyterian that snapped a five-game losing streak carried over into Charleston Southern’s Big South Conference game at High Point on Saturday night — at least for a half.
The Buccaneers held a late first-half lead before the Panthers reeled off a 22-6 run to pull away for a 72-50 win and complete the season sweep of he Bucs.
High Point (16-9 overall) stayed in the race for the Big South regular season title with the win, improving to 9-5 in league play. Charleston Southern dropped to 9-17 overall and 5-10 in Big South.
Freshman guard Armel Potter continued his solid play of late, scoring 19 points. Potter is averaging 22.3 points over his last three games. Senior forward Reuben King was the only other Buccaneers player to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points.
Reigning Big South player of the year John Brown led three Panthers in double figures with 16 points, adding seven boards as well. Guards Adam Weary and Andre Fox each tallied 15 points in the game.
Danny Upchurch’s 3-pointer gave the Buccaneers a 28-26 lead with 1:42 to play in the first half. The Panthers closed the half with a 6-0 run to grab a four-point halftime advantage and quickly opened up a double-digit lead at 42-32 with less than three minutes into second half.
“We simply had too many empty offensive possessions early in the second half and each time you come up empty on the offensive end, it gets tougher on the defensive end to continue to make stops,” CSU coach Barclay Radebaugh said. “We missed some makeable shots and they hit some and we just got wore down.”
Fox’s 3-pointer to cap the 22-6 run gave High Point a 48-32 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Another 3 from Fox pushed the lead to 52-34 before Potter and Patrick Wallace hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull CSU within 12 with 10:55 to play. High Point, however, answered the run with an 8-2 run to take a commanding 60-42 lead with eight minutes left.
Charleston Southern got no closer, as the Panthers maintained the edge for the remainder of the game.
High Point shot 57 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 53 percent for the game. Charleston Southern, which shot 48 percent from the field in the opening half, finished at 42 percent overall for the game after shooting only 36 percent in the final 20 minutes. The Buccaneers made only four of 22 attempts from beyond the arc and were out-rebounded, 33-24.
“We’re staying positive and continuing to work hard every day,” Radebaugh said. “We’re already looking forward to the next game.”
CSU at Gardner-Webb on Thursday in a 7 p.m. game on ESPU.