Just when you thought it was safe to change the channel…
This game almost turned in to a mirror opposite of Asheville’s victory over Campbell on Thursday. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 22 point lead, but a late run by High Point cut that lead to 1. Fortunately the Bulldogs were able to hold on thanks to late free throws and tip-ins.
Jeremy Atkinson continues to demonstrate why he is the best new addition to the Asheville squad this year, scoring 19 points and grabbing 8 boards. The Bulldogs shot 62% from the field last night and 81% from the foul line. Asheville was also able to spread out scoring threats, with six players (all five starters plus Jaron Lane) scoring in double figures.
On the High Point side, Nick Barbour was, well, Nick Barbour, scoring 33 points on 10-16 shooting (and accounting for more than 40% of the team’s total points). When a guy is hot like that, there’s only so much you can do. However, High Point’s lack of balance got them in the end, with only 3 players scoring in double figures and overall team shooting of 49%.
Things you don’t want to see, however: that HPU run in the second half caught everyone, including Asheville, completely off guard. I had to do a double-take on my phone to make sure that the score was accurate. Asheville held on, but the HPU run certainly didn’t do good things for Eddie Biedenbach’s blood pressure.
At the end of the day, though, a win is a win, and Asheville is now 7-0 in conference play heading into a brutal week with home games against Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern as well as a trip down to Presbyterian. Tuesday’s game is going to be raucous due to the game itself as well as the planned student “white-out” protest. If you can make it, go to this game and wear white to support the student-athletes of UNC Asheville.