Home Longwood holds off second-half High Point rally to notch key 70-67 road win

Longwood holds off second-half High Point rally to notch key 70-67 road win

Chris Graham
longwood basketball
Logo: Longwood Athletics

Isaiah Wilkins led the way with 21 points as Longwood held off a High Point comeback bid in a 70-67 Big South road win on Saturday.

The Lancers (18-9,10-4 Sun Belt) now carry the momentum of a three-game winning streak into what’s lining up as a thrilling stretch run to the regular season.

Four teams are vying for the regular season crown and top-seeding in the Big South Tournament in Charlotte. In its final four regular-season contests, Longwood plays each of the other three – including home contests against Radford and UNC-Asheville in the final two games in Willett Hall.

Longwood clinched its third straight season with at least 10 wins in the Big South, and a bye in the first round of next month’s Big South Tournament – milestones that were far out of sight for all of their Division I history until coach Griff Aldrich’s arrival in 2018.

“I’m really proud of this group,” Aldrich said. “Any road win is a good road win. Obviously, we’d love to win by 15 or 20 or whatever, but to weather the storm from High Point and still come out with a W, I’m really proud of them.”

It didn’t come easy, as the Lancers saw a 17-point lead early in the second half slip away to a one-possession game in the final minute, when the Panthers (11-15, 3-11 Big South) missed two long three-point attempts just before the horn.

Longwood is on the road Wednesday at USC-Upstate at 7 p.m.– and a win there would set up an exhilarating stretch: home next Saturday against currently second-place Radford, at Gardner-Webb (currently tied for third with Longwood, two games out of first), then closing out the season – and the Willett Hall era – against current conference leader UNC-Asheville on Feb. 25.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].