(Courtesy of High Point Sports Information)
HIGH POINT, N.C. Jerry Echenique tossed in 20 points and added nine rebounds to lead High Point to a 79-72 win over Coastal Carolina in an important Big South Conference men's basketball clash Saturday afternoon in the Millis Center.
Freshman Arizona Reid posted career-highs of 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (11-14 overall), who snapped a four-game skid and clawed back to 6-6 in Big South play. The Chanticleers dipped to 9-15 (6-6 in the League).
Akeem Scott (12 points) and Issa Konaré (10 points) joined Echenique and Reid in double figures.
Jack Leasure paced the Chants with a game-high 23 points, while Pele Paelay (17 points) and Alvin Green (16 points) also reached double-figures.
The victory gave HPU a season sweep of Coastal for the first time since the Panthers joined the Big South.
High Point pulled into a three-way tie with Coastal and UNC Asheville for fourth in the Big South. The deadlock could become a four-team tie for third place later tonight should Liberty defeat Charleston Southern (currently 6-5).
The Panthers led by as many as nine points in the first half after two Echenique free throws at the 11:18 mark gave HPU a 21-12 lead. Minutes later, Coastal used an 11-2 run to get within 27-26 following one of Leasure's three three-pointers. High Point would push the lead back to five points before a jumper by Green pulled the Chants within 35-33 at intermission.
Coastal scored the first four points of the second half to grab its first lead at 37-35 on a layup by Green. The lead changed hands six times in the second half, and the Chants' largest advantage was three points at 50-47 following a Paelay layup with 16:03 to play.
But High Point, which shot 57 percent to Coastal's 36 percent in the final 20 minutes, jumped back in front on back-to-back layups by Landon Quick and Konaré for a 53-50 edge with 13:34 to play. After Green tied the game with a three-pointer on the next possession, the Panthers took the lead for good on a tip-in by Konaré with 11:28 left.
Trailing 71-63, the Chants used a 7-2 run to pull within 73-70 with 1:20 left after Leasure nailed two free throws. But four different Panthers hit free throws down the stretch to give HPU its first win by a single-digit margin all season.
High Point held a 50-38 advantage on the boards and shot 49 percent from the floor to Coastal's 36 percent. The Panthers got three blocks and seven boards from Konaré and seven rebounds from Quick.
Green collected a game-high six assists for Coastal, which got four points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals from Moses Sonko.
Both teams are back in action Monday night at 7:00 pm, with Coastal traveling to Liberty and High Point hosting Charleston Southern.