HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University women’s basketball will be looking to continue its home dominance as it opens Big South Conference play against Longwood on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
The Panthers (3-3, 0-0 Big South) will be looking to make it two straight wins overall and nine straight in the Millis Center as they host the Lancers (0-5, 0-0 Big South) this weekend.
Last Time Out:
HPU trailed at halftime of its game against Elon, but outscored the visiting Phoenix 37-17 over the final 12 minutes to close out an 87-71 win on Sunday. Sophomore Kaylah Keys led HPU with 30 points and four assists while shooting 6-of-12 from behind the 3-point line.
Fellow sophomore DeAnneisha Jackson posted yet another double-double – her fourth in six games this year – scoring 17 points while grabbing a career-best 13 rebounds. Senior Stacia Robertson joined the two sophomores in double figures with 18 points to go with five steals, a career high. Sophomore Maja Michalska gave the team a boost off the bench adding eight points, four rebounds and two assists while coming up with key plays during the team’s big second-half run.
The Panthers put their shooting struggles before Thanksgiving behind them and shot 44 percent from the floor, including 6-of-10 from three in the second half. HPU put up those numbers against an Elon defense that was holding their opponents to 33 percent from the floor and hadn’t allowed more than 72 points coming into Sunday’s game.
Last year, the Purple & White went 2-0 against Longwood winning 68-54 at the Millis Center and 81-65 in Farmville, Va. Keys scored 40 points against the Lancers last season with 17 at home and 23 on the road.
The Lancers are off to a slow start after losing their first five games before entering Big South play. Longwood is coming off a 90-55 loss to William & Mary on the road in Williamsburg, Va. Deborah Headen knocked down three 3-pointers in route to a 19-point performance to lead the team.
Junior Daeisha Brown is leading the team in scoring with 16 points per game, but is out for the season with a torn ACL. Meanwhile, junior Kyndal Skersick is second on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game. Junior Khalilah Ali is leading the team in rebounds (6.6/game) and field goal percentage (.542).
Longwood does not have much size with Ali being the tallest starter at 6-0. The team will play a four-guard lineup, and is being outrebounded by 10.5 rebounds a game. Their offense is perimeter oriented as they take just a hair under 20 3-point attempts per contest and shoot 27 percent from beyond the arc.
Opponents are shooting 47 percent from the floor and 35 percent on 3-pointers against Longwood. The Lancers are also prone to turnovers (22.2 per game), which is good news for the opportunistic Panther defense. Longwood is 10th in the Big South in scoring offense and 11th in scoring defense this season, but lead the league by making 5.4 3-pointers per game.
• Kaylah Keys is once again heating up for Big South Conference play. The sophomore scored a season-high 30 points on Sunday against Elon and led the team in scoring in both games last week. As a freshman, Keys averaged 20.3 points per game to lead the league in scoring. She has three 20-point games already this season after reaching the 20-point plateau in 11 of the 20 conference games last season.
• HPU played some of its best basketball of the season in the second half against Elon on Sunday outscoring the Phoenix 54-32 in the final 20 minutes. The Panthers have outscored their opponents in the second half of five of the team’s six games.
• Getting into transition is vital for HPU’s success as the team excels in the open floor. The Panthers are 3-0 when they force 17 or more turnovers. Meanwhile, Longwood turns the ball over 22.2 times a contest.
• Stacia Robertson has 81 points and 39 rebounds through her first four games this season, giving her 849 points and 530 rebounds in her HPU career. She is the 13th Panthers player in the HPU Div. I era to reach 800 points and the seventh to reach 500 rebounds. Only six other players have achieved both.
• High Point is 34-11 (.755) in the Millis Center since the start of the 2011-12 season. The Panthers went 11-3 at home last season and currently have a nine-game home winning streak stretching back to last season.
The game against Longwood is the second of four straight in the Millis Center. Next up the Panthers take on Presbyterian at 2 p.m. on Saturday. HPU leads that all-time series with Prebyterian 11-2 after splitting last season’s meetings with the home team winning each game.