Panthers take step back vs. Tribe
On a night in which Allan Chaney took a shot to the mouth, the High Point University men’s basketball team figuratively was smacked in the face while suffering its first loss of the season.
Chaney wound up with a punctured lip when he caught an elbow early in the second half, but returned to finish a 22-point performance. The Panthers didn’t react so positively to struggling on offense early and never got on track, suffering their first loss of the season, 83-61, in an outing that was the exact opposite of blowout wins over UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State.
Stymied by poor shooting and the Tribe defense in the first half, HPU scored only three points in a stretch of almost eight minutes to fall behind by 19 with 2:04 left before halftime. The Panthers never got in a groove offensively, shooting 8 for 29 from the field over the first 20 minutes and 22 of 71 (31 percent) for the game.
“We’ve got to come with more effort in the first half and more focus and not take anything for granted,” Chaney said.
William & Mary shot 55.3 percent from the field, made 25 free throws and had 15 assists on 26 made field goals.
“They’re a good team for one. You’ve got to get them credit,” Chaney said. “They were disciplined and ran their stuff. They forced us to do things that we didn’t want to do, especially in the first half. As far as them being physical, it was a lack of effort on our part. They outplayed us.
“That discipline that they had helped them in the second half, even though we played harder and did a little more attacking the basket, which we should have done in the first half. They’re a good team.”
HPU coach Scott Cherry said the Panthers were hurt by trying to score from outside and not hitting shots they made in running away from Appalachian.
The off night for the Panthers included John Brown, who averaged 25 points in the first two games, scoring just seven points on 2 of 9 field goals as he sat for 10 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble and then fouled out with just under five minutes left. The poor shooting included Derrell Edwards going 1 of 8 and Dejuan McGaughy making just 2 of 11 shots. Chaney was the only Panther to make more than three field goals.
“We weren’t good offensively,” Cherry said. “We settled for a lot of jump shots in the first half and they weren’t going in. We tried to get them to explore the paint and drive the ball in there. We did it a few times and got good results but we didn’t do it consistently enough in the first half. We were good defensively but not great.
"They shot a pretty good percentage. But, we would have been OK if we had been better offensively and had gotten some things in transition. But, we settled for jump shots and the shots that went in against App. State didn’t go in tonight.”
The Tribe also dominated the tempo so much that HPU never got its transition game going, scoring just four fast-break points.
“We don’t mind running,” William and Mary coach Tony Shaver said after winning in his return to his old neighborhood. Shaver is a High Point native and High Point Central graduate. “But we knew that’s a team that likes to run. They only scored 20 points in the first half and I’m not sure that was all our defense. But we played with a lot of poise handling their pressure.”