HPU roasts Johnson & Wales
Since college basketball coaches are always in pursuit of perfection, they are hardly ever satisfied. That’s what made Scott Cherry’s first comment special after High Point crushed Johnson & Wales by the outrageous 99-36 score on Sunday afternoon at the Millis Center.
“I’m satisfied with this one,” said the smiling Cherry.
Three days after a slim one-point loss on Thursday night at Western Michigan, the Panthers dominated the visiting Wildcats to rediscover the taste of victory following two straight losses. High Point improved to 4-3 on the year, shooting 52 per cent, holding Johnson & Wales to 10 points in the second half, and scoring 22 points in a row over a nearly six-minute sequence spanning the two halves. Six Panthers finished in double figures, led by John Brown and Derrell Edwards’ 13 points apiece. Corey Law added 11, while Allan Chaney, Adam Weary, and Branamir Mikulic all chipped in with 10 to contribute to the rout.
“I think our guys are really listening to what we’re telling them to do,” said Cherry, “using every opportunity we have, whether it’s practice or games, to try to improve in areas and get better.”
With added depth on a roster that got healthier with Law’s return before Thanksgiving, High Point continues to mix and match personnel, striving to reach a higher level as conference play creeps closer.
“Our practices may be harder than the games,” said Law, who’s averaged eight points a night in his four contests since coming back from an early-season injury. “It’s so much competition. It just keeps us on our toes.”
On Sunday, Johnson & Wales put up little resistance as High Point forced 27 turnovers and outscored the Wildcats 56-10 after halftime. Kindrick Anderson and Joshua Cohen each scored 10 points for the visitors, but after cutting the deficit to 13 at 39-26 late in the first half, the Panthers powered past them 60-10 the rest of the way.
While Johnson & Wales (3-11) did not represent the toughest competition for HPU, the Panthers are eagerly anticipating Wednesday’s showdown against Wake Forest at the Joel Coliseum. The Demon Deacons narrowly defeated High Point 87-83 last year at the Millis Center, and when this season’s schedule came out, the only matchup against an ACC program stood out.
“This definitely was one that was circled,” said Law. “You got to be ready to roll. At Wake Forest, we’ll be ready to roll. We’ll be back to work [on Monday] and start preparing for that game.”