It was a rock fight Thursday evening in Athens, Georgia as the host Georgia Bulldogs took down High Point 49-46. It was a chance for lead Panther John Brown to take flight in front of a national TV audience but Georgia kept him grounded for the most part.
After trailing 33-22 at halftime, Brown and Panthers woke up to create a one shot game for essentially the last five minutes of the second half while Georgia went cold from the field. While Brown flashed immense effort and energy against the bigger strong Bulldogs' frontcourt it was his 1-for-5 free throw performance that may have been the biggest difference in the game. Nearly all of those misses at the charity stripe came at pivotal times for HPU and it eventually lead to the Panthers never getting over the hump. On the night Brown finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Another key contributor to High Point's inability to score the upset was sharpshooter Anthony Lindauer's terrible night. Lindauer came in averaging nearly nine points per game but he was held scoreless thanks to a 0-for-10 performance from the floor. When HPU had the last possession of the game Scott Cherry put the ball in Lindauer's hands once again as the junior missed two chances at sending the game to overtime. As a team HPU went 1-for-15 from three.
For Georgia it was almost a "survive and advance" feeling as they certainly didn't want to lose to another mid-major after being upset by Chattanooga opening night. It was the Bulldogs' backcourt that came through biggest as Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann posted 12 and 13 points respectively. As Brown choked from the line Mann went 8-for-8 largely sealing the deal for Georgia.
High Point moves to 3-2 after tonight's loss. Lorenzo Cugini's performance on the boards, 8 rebounds, was probably the biggest plus for the Panthers as they need someone else to step up in the post next to Brown. Cugini also added 12 points.
Next on the slate for the Panthers is final home tune up against Morgan State before beginning Big South play at home against a hobbled Longwood squad.