Hickson scores 21 in Red/White scrimmage

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Freshman J.J. Hickson scored 21 points to lead the red team over the white squad, 51-47, at the annual Red-White game in the RBC Center on Saturday afternoon.

J.J. Hickson entered Saturday's Red/White scrimmage game with plenty of hype. He didn't do anything to quell those expectations.

Behind a flurry of dunks, put-backs and even a few jumpers, Hickson scored a game-high 21 points and led the red team to a 51-47 win over the white team at the RBC Center.

"He plays with great intensity, great passion," head coach Sidney Lowe said. "He goes hard every single time. He gives you a presence down there."

The two teams played two halves with a 10-minute half time. The first half was 16 minutes and included clock stoppages and timeouts. The teams played the second half with a 20 minute running clock. Monty Towe coached the red team while Larry Harris coached the white squad.

The red team consisted of Dennis Horner, Gavin Grant, Hickson, Tracy Smith, Farnold Degand and Chad Williams. The white team had Courtney Fells, Ben McCauley, Brandon Costner, Marques Johnson, Trevor Ferguson and Simon Harris.

The game started out sloppy, with both teams committed lazy turnovers, but the teams settle down later in the half. Lowe said he expected the slow start but was pleased with the game overall.

"I've been in that game before so I know what that's like and I expected it," Lowe said. "I saw us really execute certain sets really well and read the defense and got some wide-open shots."

Veterans McCauley and Costner led the way for the white team, with 14 and 12 points respectively while Grant scored 11 points for the red team. McCauley matched up with Hickson for most of the game, a match-up that both players have been benefiting from in practice.

"We have been going after each other day in and day out, I think we are both making each other a lot better," McCauley said. "He's strong – when he gets the ball in the post he's going up strong and nine times out of 10 he's going to make it."

Hickson was equally complementary of his practice opponent.

"He makes me a better player defensively," Hickson said. "I have to get a hand up and move my feet. He's a great player and he has some of the best post moves I've ever seen."

Fans also got their first look at point guards Degand and Johnson. Degand showed off his speed with a couple of penetrating drives and finished the game with eight points and will probably start to begin the season with Johnson ineligible and Javier Gonzalez out with a wrist injury.

"I thought Farnold did a real nice job for us at the point guard position, real solid," Lowe said.

The Pack will play its first exhibition game on Thursday evening against Barton College at the RBC Center.

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