BALTIMORE, Md. – A 3-pointer by senior Anthony Lindauer at the buzzer completed one of the biggest comebacks in High Point men's basketball history as the Panthers battled back from down 20 in the second half to pull out a 62-61 win over Morgan State on Monday.
HPU trailed by two with 4.9 seconds to play after a Morgan State free throw when freshman Jamal Wright received the inbounds under the basket and raced down the floor before handing the ball off to Lindauer. The senior lifted up for a 30-foot 3-pointer and connected at the buzzer to lift the Panthers to the win. The final score was HPU's only lead of the night.
The buzzer-beating win was High Point's first since 2009 when the Panthers earned a 63-61 win at Presbyterian College and it improved the Panther' record to 4-3 on the season.
High Point trailed by 20, 51-31, with 9:36 left to play before closing the game on a 31-10 run. After most of the first half with foul trouble, HPU leading scorer Andre Fox rattled off six straight points for the Purple & White to start the comeback. Down by 13 with 90 second to play, the Panthers limited Morgan State to only three free throws the rest of the way while putting up 17. High Point scored eight of its final 17 from the free-throw line, going 8-9 down the stretch. Wright had seven of the Panthers' final 17 points while Lindauer had five.
"Our kids are just a resilient group," head coach Scott Cherry said. "When I said they were resilient, I didn't know they had that in them. This is a game that you won't forget. The unselfishness of Jamal Wright to pass that to Anthony [Lindauer] just speaks volumes of that kid and speaks volumes of the kids we have."
Redshirt-senior Miles Bowman finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Two other HPU players finished in double figures as Wright matched his career high with 13 points and Fox had 11 points, all in the second half.
Phillip Carr scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds for Morgan State while Kyle Thomas finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
High Point got the win despite shooting just 2-17 from behind the arc after entering the night as the top-3-point shooting team in the Big South. The Purple & White were able to overcome their shooting struggles with a strong showing at the line where the team went 22-27 in the game. The 22 free throws are a season high for HPU and it is the second-straight game that the team has shot over 80 percent from the charity stripe.
PANTHERS WIN!!!! Lindauer hits a 3 at the buzzer to complete the 20-point comeback as HPU pulls out a 62-61 win pic.twitter.com/cAEhbdMb5p— HPU Men's Basketball (@HighPointUBball) November 29, 2016
"We played some of the worst basketball we have played in a long time," Cherry said. "You look at most of the numbers and they were bad. All except the free throw shooting, which was huge down the stretch."
The Panthers missed their first six shots of the contest, falling behind 7-0 before two free throws by redshirt-senior Miles Bowman Jr., with 13:23 left in the opening half ended the Bears' run and got HPU on the board.
High Point still trailed by seven, 23-16, with four minutes to play before halftime when Morgan State went on an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 13, the largest of the half. Freshman Jamal Wright ended the run and sent the team into the locker room on a high note with a contested jumper with one second left for the Panthers who went into the half down 31-20.
HPU shot just 26.1 percent (6-23) in the first 20 minutes, including an 0-8 mark from behind the arc. The team turned the ball over 13 times and had 16 personal fouls prior to halftime.