Panthers use staunch defense to down Lancers

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018

High Point University’s men’s basketball team deployed its top-three Big South Conference defense and rode 22 points from sophomore guard Jahaad Proctor to take down host Longwood University 75-55 Sunday afternoon.

The Lancers were held to 37 percent shooting from the floor and 24 percent shooting from three-point range by a Panthers defense that entered the game leading the Big South in steals per game and ranking among the top 15 teams in the nation in that statistical category.

“The first thing I said to our team is you have to give credit where credit’s due,” said Longwood Head Coach Jayson Gee. “They came in and took us out of what we wanted to do. We tried to spread the floor and space them, and we weren’t having much success with that. Their physicality and their versatility really bothered us on both ends of the floor.”

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The Lancers’ woes on the offensive end carried over to the defensive end as well, as the Panthers (10-9, 5-3 Big South) shot 53.1 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three-point range, both among the two best marks by a Big South foe against Longwood’s rejuvenated defense this season.

“What I really challenged our guys in there was that some nights your offense isn’t going to be there,” Gee said. “So what do you need to do? You need to find a way to play defense. You have to raise your level of defense. Several occasions High Point drove us one-on-one, and we broke down. We had some guys out there that just didn’t get it done defensively. It didn’t feel like we were prepared for what they brought, which is on me. I thought their ability to drive their ball and their ability to get to the rim when they wanted really made a difference.”

Longwood redshirt junior forward Damarion Geter turned in his first career double-double, scoring 12 points on perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the field and grabbing 10 rebounds. He stuffed the stat sheet with an assist, two blocks and a steal and grabbed three of his rebounds on the offensive end.

Redshirt junior guard Isaiah Walton also scored 14 points for Longwood, while redshirt senior guard Charles Glover added 11.

The loss snaps a two-game home winning streak for the Lancers, who entered the game winners of five of their past seven games on their home floor.

The Lancers (6- 15, 3-5 Big South) will get another shot at protecting their home court Wednesday when they face Winthrop University at 7 p.m.