HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team lost a close contest to Alabama-Birmingham on Tuesday at the Millis Center. The Panthers led, 47-45, with just over five minutes remaining but the Blazers pulled away with the win, 58-53. Junior Cheyenne Parker led HPU with 17 points and 19 rebounds.
“We really competed for 40 minutes,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “We played with a different intensity tonight and I am really proud of the team. Like anyone I want the win but at the same time I think we took a huge step in the right direction.”
Freshman Tori Cook hit a pair of free throws with 4:46 remaining in the game to give HPU the lead, 47-45. The Blazers finished the game on a 13-6 run to escape the Millis Center with the win.
Parker registered her fifth double-double of the season, leading all players with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Parker also had four blocks and three assists. Redshirt-sophomore Lindsay Puckett scored in double digits for the second straight game, tallying 13 points and five rebounds.
Karisma Chapman led UAB with 17 points and Amber Jones scored 16. High Point drops to 2-4 on the season while the Blazers improve to 7-1.
UAB jumped out to an 8-2 lead, scoring six of their points in the paint. The Blazers maintained the six-point lead until the 9:24 mark when Puckett hit a jumper to make it a 15-11 game. The Panthers held UAB scoreless for over three minutes but were only able to score the one basket by Puckett.
Parker scored five straight points to get High Point within one, 21-20. She converted three straight free throws and scored a layup on a feed from Stacia Robertson. With 1:23 left in the half Parker continued her scoring streak to tie the game 23-23. She picked up a rebound and scored on the putback. She was fouled on the play and drained the free throw to tie the game 23-23. The Blazers were fouled twice in the final minute scoring three points from the free-throw line to lead 26-23 at halftime.
High Point used a 7-2 run in the second half to take the lead 47-45 with 6:10 left in the game. Junior Tayler Tremblay passed the ball to Wallace outside the arc and she scored her only basket of the second half. On UAB’s next possession Jones missed a three-pointer and Tremblay collected the rebound. Senior Jazmin Cromartie converted the layup on the other end to tie the game 45-45. Puckett was fouled hard and had to leave the game allowing Cook to come in and shoot her free throws. Cook made both to give HPU the lead 47-45.
UAB played tough defense in the closing minutes forcing High Point to turn the ball over and miss shots. The Blazers finished the game on a 13-6 run to pull out the 58-53 win.
Tremblay finished the game with three points, three rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes. Robertson contributed eight points, eight rebounds and one block.
High Point will take part in the Navy Classic this weekend in Annapolis, Md. The Panthers will face Monmouth on Friday at 3:30 p.m. It is the first-ever meeting between the two teams.