Surging HPU men sink Coastal, 74-62
Allan Chaney and Derrell Edwards each scored 15 points as the High Point University men rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to beat Coastal Carolina 74-62 on Saturday night in the Millis Center for their fourth straight win.
The Panthers (13-10, 8-3 Big South), who extended their first-place lead to 1 1/2 games over VMI in the Big South Conference North Division, trailed 33-30 at halftime but used a 13-2 run early in the second half to lead 49-41 on Dejuan McGaughy’s basket with 13:58 left.
The Chanticleers (11-11, 6-4) cut it to one with under nine minutes left, but High Point, which shot 67 percent in the second half, answered with a 19-2 run to lead 71-53 with 1:23 left, hitting 10 of 14 from the free-throw line in that span, to put the game away.
“In the second half, we started to grind it out, get the ball inside to Allan and John (Brown),” coach Scott Cherry said. “Our wings — Dejuan, Derrell — hit some big shots. And our bench was huge. All those guys who stepped in did a fantastic job for us.
“In the first half, we’d throw it (inside) and it’d come back out and we didn’t try to go back in there," he explained. "So, in the second half, we threw it in there, and if it came back out, we’d try to repost it and go back in there to them.
“And we also ran a set where we’d cross-screen Allan and John block to block and throw the ball in from the top so the help couldn’t come from the wing. It was a little harder to help down from the top. We just wanted to get those guys some freedom down there.”
McGaughy also had 12 points while Brown added 10 for the Panthers. Badou Diagne had 13 points to lead Coastal Carolina, which had three scorers finish in double figures.
“It was just defense and rebounding,” McGaughy said. “They beat us on the boards in the first half, and Coach just said that if we stopped them from getting second-chance shots, then this game would be out of their hands. That’s what we did.
“We went on the run by just rebounding and focusing. Offense is going to come through defense. So, that’s what we did. It just came out of rebounding.”
The Chanticleers led by six in the first half before High Point rallied to lead by four. The teams were tied with 1:46 left in the half before Coastal Carolina, which shot 52 percent for the half, scored four of the final five points to lead 33-30 at halftime.
“I thought it was just another step in the right direction, to come off the win on the road then come back against a very good Coastal Carolina team,” Cherry said of the win. “They’re very physical, tough, and they make it very difficult for you to score. We responded after the first half.”
The Panthers begin a three-game road trip Wednesday at Longwood.