Weary’s jumper lifts HPU over Winthrop, 65-64
Sophomore Adam Weary scored with eight seconds remaining to give the High Point University men’s basketball team its only lead of the night as the Panthers pulled out a 65-64 win over Winthrop in front of a packed Millis Center on Saturday night. The win lifted HPU into a tie for first place in the Big South North Division.
“The Millis Center is a special place when a crowd like this comes to the game and stays with us the whole way,” said HPU head coach Scott Cherry. “There were a lot of little plays, a lot of contributors tonight that led to that last play. John Brown had another huge night and Adam Weary was great in the second half, and to hit that last shot.”
Down one with 18 seconds to play, Weary took the inbounds pass and curled around a screen by Brown before pulling up for an 18-foot jumper that put High Point up 65-64 with eight seconds left. Winthrop drove for a layup in the final seconds but the attempt hit off the iron as time expired.
Brown led all scorers with 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Weary also finished in double figures with 15 points, including 11 in the second half. Senior Derrell Edwards chipped in with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds off the bench while freshman guard Anthony Lindauer dished six assists with no turnovers.
Winthrop finished the night with three double-digit scorers as Keon Johnson scored 16 points and Joab Jerome and Keon Moore each had 15. Jerome led the Eagles with six rebounds.
High Point improved to 9-12 overall and 5-3 in the Big South. The Panthers are tied with Campbell and VMI atop the Big South’s North Division. Winthrop dropped to 10-10 overall and 4-4 in the Big South with the loss.
Winthrop scored the first seven points of the game and led 18-6 with 12 minutes left in the first half when Tevin Prescott hit a pair of free throws. HPU responded with back-to-back baskets by redshirt-freshman Cliff Cornish and went on an 8-0 run. Winthrop came back to lead by 11 (30-19) before the Panthers finished the first half on a 13-2 run. Lindauer threw a pass to Edwards on the right side, who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and tied the game at 32-32 at halftime.
High Point started the second half cold but trailed by just one (40-39) on a jumper by Brown with 13:59 remaining. The Eagles went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to push the lead to 49-39. Down 51-43 with just over nine minutes to play, Weary and junior Devante Wallace connected on back-to-back three pointers to trim the deficit to six. Three minutes later, a block by Weary led to a bucket on the other end by Brown to tie the game at 55-55, but a technical on Edwards following the bucket gave Winthrop the lead at 57-55.
The Panthers still trailed by two, 63-61, with just under a minute to play when Edwards was fouled on a defensive rebound and hit two free throws to make it 63-63. Winthrop’s Johnson was fouled and hit one of two free throws at the other end to put the Eagles up 64-63 with 18 seconds left, which led to Weary’s final shot.
High Point returns to action on Wednesday when the team travels to Conway, S.C., to take on South Division leader Coastal Carolina. The game is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3. The Panthers visit Gardner-Webb on Saturday.