Winthrop (15-1, 18-1) at High Point (6-8, 8-11)
- Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
- Location: Millis Center, High Point, NC
- TV: ESPNU
The Eagles are a team to look at in March if you are looking at a legitimate Cinderella to punch into the brackets once the field of 68 is announced. They won their first 16 games before a hiccup in a 57-55 loss to UNC Asheville two weeks ago.
Tubby Smith is in his third year of trying to rebuild the slumbering High Point Panthers program as the Panthers have won four out of their last six and have moved into the middle of the Big South Conference race.
Winthrop leads the series, 32-14, as they have won five in a row against the Panthers. Winthrop has won by double digits on three of the last four opening games in the back-to-back scenarios.
Vs. The Spread
- The Eagles are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 road games
- Winthrop is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 outings
- Winthrop is 10-9 ATS this season
- The Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
- HPU is 9-9 ATS this season
Last Time Out
Winthrop swept the back-to-back from second-place Radford as the Eagles predictably took the upper hand in the Big South race. In Friday night’s game, The Eagles won, 55-47, although the Highlanders led, 45-44, with 2:53 remaining and then Big South Player of the Year candidate Chandler Vaudrin hit a triple to give the Eagles the lead for good. Charles Falden led Winthrop with 14 points while Vaudrin had 12 points, eight boards and six assists.
High Point split with Charleston Southern last weekend as the Buccaneers won the second game, 69-68, after the Panthers claimed a 77-73 win in the opener. John Michael-Wright led the Panthers with 18 points as HPU led most of the way until CSU’s Philanderous Fleming, Jr., hit the game-winning three with three seconds remaining.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Winthrop||-9.5 (-125)||—||O 145.5 (-110)|
|High Point||+9.5 (+105)||—||U 145.5 (-110)|
The Eagles are plenty motivated to keep winning as potentially winning out and capturing the Big South Tournament crown which could propel them to potentially the highest seed in the NCAA Tournament that a one-bid league has ever held. Vaudrin leads a balanced Eagles attack at 12.7 points per game as while dishing 6.5 assists in an offense that is 69th in effective field goal efficiency. Falden (11.3 ppg) and Adonis Arms (10.7 ppg) should help exploit a Panthers defense that has struggled all season, especially against the three.
Key Eagles’ Stat:
The triple is a salvo for the Eagles who have seven players who have double figures in makes and four of those have 20 or more. Josh Corbin leads the attack with 37 as he has made 44.6 percent while Falden is 30-of-83 (36.1%). High Point has allowed eight of it’s opponents to shoot 36 percent (34.9%) or better as right teams also hit double figures in made triples.
Michael Anumba has started all 19 of the Eagles games and gives coach Pat Kelsey a swingman type of player who is smallish at 6’4”, but he can get to the basket. Anumba has made 38-of-46 free throws (82.6 percent) and has played the second most minutes per game on the team at 24.4.
Advantage, High Point
John-Michael Wright leads the Panthers in scoring (20.4 ppg) and assists and has made a team high 37 threes. He is the type of scorer who can transform a team that is a decided underdog and will them to a victory. Lydell Elmore is a complementary piece for Wright as he shoots 49.2 percent from the field while leading HPU in rebounding with 6.4 per game.
Key Panthers Stat:
The Panthers have had a tough road offensively aside from Wright and Elmore as shot 42.5 percent of the Panthers’ field goals. At some point tonight, HPU is going to have to be able to match three-balls with the Eagles, but they have only made 97 on the season and shot 30.1 percent from three.
The third scorer is important in this matchup as the Panthers are likely going to have to score to keep up with the high-flying Eagles who average. Ahmil Flowers averages 30.7 minutes per game and is third in scoring (8.9 ppg), but has gotten to the line 66 times (69.7% – FT) which is second on the squad.
Winner: Winthrop (-9.5) 84, High Point 69