CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Senior Tayler Tremblay scored 17 points and dished out six assists in the High Point University women’s basketball team’s 73-54 loss at Virginia on Monday night. The Panthers were outscored by just two points in the second half.
“We threw everything we had at them,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “I am very proud of the effort tonight. We played at maximum energy for 30 minutes and allowed them to go on a run for the final 10 minutes of the first half. This was the most complete game of Tayler’s career and DeAnneisha Jackson showed a lot of toughness, especially on defense.”
High Point shot 38.6 percent from the floor, better than UVA’s 35.7 percent but the Cavaliers outrebounded HPU 57-30. Tremblay had four rebounds and one steal to go with her 17-point effort. Freshman DeAnneisha Jackson added nine points, three rebounds and two blocks and redshirt-junior Stacia Robertson scored eight points with five rebounds and three steals.
Faith Randolph scored 19 points for the Cavaliers and Sarah Imovbioh posted a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
High Point and Virginia both stand at 1-1 on the season.
The Panthers trailed 39-22 at halftime but stayed even with Virginia in the second half, getting outscored by just two points, 34-32.
High Point opened the game with tough defense and hot shooting. Virginia won the tip but Robertson forced a turnover immediately that led to freshman Kaylah Keys draining a three from the left corner. Two jumpers by Tremblay and another three-pointer from Keys put High Point ahead 10-6 after four minutes of play and forced Virginia to call timeout.
The Panthers continued to extend the early lead, taking a 16-12 advantage on a layup by Jackson. With 11:33 on the clock Sarah Beth Barnette started a 7-0 run for the Cavaliers with a jumper from Lexie Gersen. Tremblay drained a three-pointer from the right wing to knot the game up 19-19 at 8:22 and snap a streak of five straight misses for the Panthers.
Over the final eight and a half minutes of the opening half Virginia went on a 20-3 run to take a 39-22 lead in to the locker room.
The early part of the second half was a defensive battle with neither team getting in to an offensive rhythm. Lindsay Puckett scored for High Point off an inbound pass from Tremblay to cut Virginia’s lead to 54-36 with 11:21 on the clock. HPU scored on its next two possessions with baskets by Tremblay and Puckett to make it a 54-40 game.
The Panthers continued to cut in to the lead, getting within 10, 58-48 when Robertson went up and under two defenders for a basket with 6:08 to play. Keys had a chance to cut the deficit to seven with a wide-open three pointer but came up just short. Randolph countered with a three-pointer for UVA to end HPU’s rally. The Cavaliers pulled away with a 73-54 win over the last four minutes.
Puckett finished the night with six points and three assists and Keys added six points and four rebounds. High Point got a basket from all nine players that checked in to the game.
High Point concludes a stretch of three games in five days on Wednesday when USC Upstate comes to the Millis Center for a 7 p.m. tilt. The Panthers are 1-1 all-time against Upstate with a 77-67 win last season in Spartanburg, S.C.