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High Point Claims Last-Second Victory Over Winthrop in Tense Basketball Showdown

Basketball player dramatic buzzer-beater

High Point Stuns Winthrop in Dispiriting Last-Second Defeat

In a nail-biting showdown at Winthrop Coliseum, the Winthrop men’s basketball team experienced a gripping loss to High Point University, courtesy of a game-winning bucket from Kezza Giffa with 0.5 seconds left on Saturday afternoon. High Point edged past the Eagles to a triumphant 83-81 victory.

Match Highlights

The Eagles lost despite commendable performances from their top three point scorers. Kelton Talford led the team with 22 points, four rebounds, and an assist. Kasen Harrison contributed with 18 points and a steal, while K.J. Doucet chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds, and an assist.

For High Point, Kezza Giffa was the top scorer with a whopping 37 points, along with four rebounds and five assists. Trae Benham and Kiman Hamilton also made key contributions with 13 points each and combined for 11 rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

The Roller Coaster Game

Winthrop took an early lead by embarking on a 10-0 run to set up a 12-3 advantage on the clock, highlighted by an emphatic dunk from Talford. However, High Point steadily chipped away at the lead, eventually taking over with a 12-0 run midway through the second half to surge ahead 65-62. The back-and-forth journey resulted in a tense few final minutes with the lead changing hands multiple times.

In the closing seconds of the game, Harrison tied the score at 81 each by converting a foul-shot, following a strong drive into the lane. However, in a final dramatic twist, Giffa sunk a last-second floater, propelling High Point to a heart-stopping victory.

Key Statistics and Notables

Winthrop shot 55 percent from the field while High Point finished at a slightly lower 46 percent. However, the Panthers had a stronger performance at the foul line, scoring 27-for-35 compared to the Eagles’ 16-for-24. High Point was able to leverage 10 Winthrop mistakes into 14 points, a decisive factor towards the end. Talford’s 22 points also added to his escalating career score tally, now standing at 1,208 points.

What’s Next?

Following this showdown, Winthrop receives a week-long break before they return to action on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Asheville, N.C. to take on UNC Asheville at 2 p.m. As for High Point, they will undoubtedly carry the winning momentum from this game into their future matches.


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