High Point edges Camels, wins Big South season title

Feb. 28, 2014 @ 09:48 PM

Devante Wallace scored 18 points and High Point held off Campbell 56-53 to win the Big South North Division and regular season championship at the Millis Center Friday night.

In a game that featured 15 lead changes and five ties, High Point (16-13, 12-4) won its sixth-straight game in spite of going the final 4:25 without a field goal. 

Luke Moyer tied his career high with 16 points for Campbell (12-19, 6-10), which dropped its fifth in a row. D.J. Mason added 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for the Camels, but couldn’t get a short bank shot in traffic to fall that could have tied the score with 5 seconds left. Kyre’ Hamer had 12 points for the Camels, whose bench outscored the High Point reserves 40-20.

Hamer’s reverse lay-up tied the score at 51 with 5:24 to play, but Adam Weary’s off balance shot in the paint dropped in and the Panthers took the lead for good at the 4:39 mark. John Brown’s stick-back slam gave the Panthers a 55-51 edge with 4:11 remaining.

Moyer’s turn-around jumper trimmed the margin to 55-53 with 3:29 remaining, but the Camels didn’t score again. Lorenzo Cugini made the front end of a one-and-one with 3 seconds to play for the final margin.

Friday’s decision was the fourth-straight game decided by two possessions or less between the Camels and Panthers. CU won the Big South opener between the schools 74-71 on Jan. 8 at Buies Creek.

“We executed our game plan and had a time out to put in a play, but we didn’t get what we wanted,” said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. “It was really good ball game that could’ve gone either way.”

Campbell will play in Wednesday’s first round of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship in Conway, S.C., as either the fourth or fifth seed. 

High Point, which earned at least a bid to the NIT, has a bye into next Friday’s league tournament quarterfinals.

Campbell wrapped a 12-0 run around halftime and led 33-26 with 17:40 to play.

The Panthers rallied and took a 36-35 lead on Brown’s slam off a baseline out of bounds play with 15:08 remaining.  Neither team led by more than four the rest of the way.

On the night, High Point shot 39.3 percent (22-56) from the floor and made 9 of 23 threes (39.1 percent).  Campbell shot 38.5 percent from the field and 29.2 percent (7 of 24) from 3-point range. The Camels finished with a 38-32 edge on the glass, but committed 16 turnovers to just nine for the hosts.

High Point jumped to an 11-4 lead with 13:00 left when Cugini made a three, but the Camels rallied behind consecutive triples from Moyer and Mason and took their first lead, 12-11, on Hamer’s bucket in the paint with 10:52 to play.

The Camels closed the period on an 8-0 run and led 29-26 at intermission.  Mason (10), Moyer (9) and Hamer (8) came off the bench to combine for 27 of CU’s 29 first-half points.