HIGH POINT, N.C. – Onno Steger finished with a career-high 18 points but Western Carolina was unable to slow down a High Point offense that shot nearly 70 percent from the field in an 86-59 loss to the Panthers on Saturday night at the Millis Center.
High Point improves to 5-5 overall while Western Carolina drops to 3-9.
Steger’s new career-high of 18 points tops his previous best of 15 at The Citadel on Feb. 22, 2017. The Upper Arlington, Ohio native went 7-for-13 from the field and 4-for-9 from behind the arc. In addition, Steger had a team-leading five rebounds. Kameron Gibson also finished in double figures with 17 points.
Brandonn Kamga paced High Point with 25 points closely followed by Jahaad Proctor with 24. Jordan Whitehead also finished in double figures with 10 points. Kamga and Proctor each had six rebounds.
Curtis Holland III opened the scoring with a jumper 39 seconds into the game before Steger drained a 3-pointer at the 18:58 mark for the first WCU lead of the night at 3-2. The Panthers answered with a 13-3 run for a 15-6 lead at the under-16 media timeout. Following a Gibson 3-pointer that brought the visitors within five, 17-12, High Point pushed its lead back to 11, 29-18, on a Caden Sanchez layup with just over 10 minutes remaining. Consecutive layups by Gibson and Steger brought the Catamounts within seven, 33-27, with 4:53 left. The Panthers closed the first half on an 11-5 run for a 44-32 halftime lead.
Holland III had the first field goal of the second half as the Panthers opened the frame on a 19-3 run to lead 64-35 following a Kamga free throw with 13:48 to play. Western Carolina would get no closer than 22 points for the remainder of the game as the Panthers pushed their lead to as many as 31 points.
High Point went 36-for-54 (66.7 percent) from the field for the game and 19-for-26 (73.1 percent) in the first half. Western Carolina went 24-for-53 (45.3 percent) from the field. The Panthers held a 29-24 edge in rebounds.
The Catamounts travel to No. 22 Iowa on Tuesday for a 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT matchup. The game can be seen nationally on the Big Ten Network.