MACON, Ga. – Junior Cheyenne Parker scored 31 points to lead the High Point University women’s basketball team to a 62-57 win at Mercer on Friday night. Parker tallied her 10th double-double of the season with a career-high 31 points and 16 rebounds.
Parker’s 31 points is the first 30-point performance by a Panther since Erin Reynolds scored 36 against Pittsburgh on Dec. 2, 2011. It is just the fifth 30-point performance in HPU’s Div. I era. Parker also had five blocks and three steals.
“Cheyenne Parker was amazing tonight,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “She was disappointed after Winthrop and tonight she came out and made a statement. We’ve had a really tough non-conference schedule so it is great to end it with a win and head in to the holiday break happy.”
Junior Tayler Tremblay added 13 points, six rebound and three assists in the win. Redshirt-sophomore Stacia Robertson had six points and seven rebounds.
The win improves High Point to 6-6 at the end of non-conference play. Mercer falls to 6-5 this season.
Graduate student Kendra Wallace opened the game with a good three-pointer from Tremblay and High Point held the lead for the rest of the half. Parker scored the next six points for HPU, including two layups and two free throws. Precious Bridges scored the first six points of the game for Mercer but HPU opened up a 9-6 lead.
Parker drained a free throw to keep HPU’s lead at three, 11-8 with 9:54 to go in the opening period. The Panthers went on a 9-0 run bookended by layups from Parker to take a 20-8 lead. Mercer closed the lead to five, 22-17, with 1:34 left in the half on a layup form Bridges. Parker answered with layup in the final possession to send High Point to the locker room with a 24-17 lead.
In the second half Mercer closed the lead to three, 30-27, after baskets by Bridges and Alicia Williams with 13:50 to play. The teams played two and a half scoreless minutes before Parker broke the drought with a layup at 11:39. She extended the lead to seven with another layup at 10:13 to give HPU a 34-27 lead.
The Bears came within two, 42-40 after Bridges picked up a steal and a fast break layup with 5:49 to play. Redshirt-sophomore Lindsay Puckett answered for High Point with her first basket of the night, a three-point shot from Wallace. Robertson had a steal and a layup with 3:27 to play to give High Point a seven-point advantage. HPU held on to win 62-57.
Bridges finished the game with 26 points for Mercer and Kendra Grant added 12. Puckett and Wallace each scored six points and Wallace brought down four rebounds.
High Point returns to Big South Conference play on Jan. 29 with a 2 p.m. game at UNC Asheville. The Panthers are 28-11 against Asheville with an 11-4 record in Asheville, N.C. HPU has won the last seven meetings with the Bulldogs.