The latest big game for Orange’s Connor Crabtree has drawn the Panthers within a game of first place in the Big 8 Conference.
Crabtree, who had coaches from Appalachian State and High Point watching in an earlier game, scored 33 points as Orange (7-7, 4-1) defeated Chapel Hill 77-67 on Friday night at Tiger Gymnasium. The Tigers (5-10, 3-1), which suffered their first conference loss, were led by Max Connolly’s 23 points.
Both teams ended a stretch of three games in four days going into exam break. Orange, which led 37-36 at the half, got two three-pointers from point guard Cameron Cavanaugh during a 11-2 run to open the third quarter.
Logan Vosburg added 13 for Orange, which has won four of its past five.
Chapel Hill’s Elijah Haynes nearly brought the Tigers back from a 10-point deficit with 1:48 remaining, scoring consecutive 3-point plays to whittle the Chapel Hill deficit to 71-67. But Crabtree canned four late free throws to weather the storm.
The Panthers defeated Northwood in Pittsboro 68-60 on Thursday. After exam break, they face Oxford’s J.F. Webb next Friday.
Cavanaugh, the latest point guard inserted into the starting lineup by coach Greg Motley to fill the shoes of injured Eryk Brandon-Dean, scored a career-high 11 points. His two 3-pointers early in the third quarter gave Orange a 10-point lead. The Panthers didn’t trail in the 2nd half.
They said it
“We know what we can get from him. He bring the offense every night. That’s what he does for us,” Orange coach Greg Motley said of Crabtree, who already has a scholarship offer from Lehigh.
By the numbers
22: Players who played in the first half.
10: Points in the first quarter from Chapel Hill’s Ben Gaynes. He didn’t score again until the fourth quarter and finished with 15.
2: Points for Orange’s Chandler Compton, who committed to play soccer at Wofford on Tuesday.