HIGH POINT, N.C. – John Brown scored 26 points to lead High Point to a 78-67 Big South Conference home win over visiting UNC Asheville Saturday night at the Millis Center.
The Bulldogs (10-10, 4-2 BSC) were led by senior forward Jaron Lane with 20 points. Andrew Rowsey scored in double figures for the 16th straight game with 13 points. Corey Littlejohn finished with 10 points. Asheville’s starting center D.J. Cunningham, the Big South’s leader in rebounds and blocked shots, did not play for the second straight game due to the flu.
Brown was joined in double figures by guard Devante Wallace with 20 points.
High Point built a 45-31 halftime lead before Asheville closed to nine in the second half but could never get any closer.
“We simply dug ourselves too big of hole to come back tonight,” stated Asheville coach Nick McDevitt. “In the first half, we took some quick shots when we fell behind and that led to easy baskets for High Point that allowed them to build a big lead.
“Last week when we rallied at Charleston Southern, we were patient on offense and took good shots,” added McDevitt. “Tonight we rushed things and it cost us both on offense and defense.”
The Bulldogs committed a season-high 19 turnovers, including 10 in the first half. High Point out-scored Asheville 25-9 on points off turnovers. The Panthers had a season-low eight turnovers.
“We had way too many turnovers,” admitted McDevitt. “You can’t come from 14 behind and win when you make 19 turnovers.”
Brown, the preseason Big South Player of the Year, went 11-of-16 field and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Asheville got off to a good start and led 22-15 with 11 minutes to go in the opening half.
But High Point dominated the rest of the half. Brown scored 14 of his 18 points in the final 10 minutes as the Panthers raced to a 45-31 halftime lead. High Point outscored the Dogs 30-9 in that stretch.
The Bulldogs shot .545 (12-of-22) from the field in the opening half but 10 turnovers doomed Asheville. Brown was 9-of-10 from the field in the first half with his only miss on a follow dunk.
The Panthers led by 18 early in the second half on a Wallace trey at 52-34 before Asheville rallied. The Bulldogs zone defense slowed High Point down and allowed the visitors to creep to 74-65 on three free throws from Rowsey at the 3:12 mark.
Asheville could get no closer as the Bulldogs had three more turnovers and came up empty on two possessions.
UNC Asheville returns home to Kimmel Arena Tuesday night to host VMI starting at 7 p.m.