HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team will play its third of four straight games in the Millis Center on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Presbyterian.
The Panthers (4-3, 1-0 Big South) are perfect in their four home games this season while the Blue Hose (4-3, 1-0 Big South) have just one road win in four tries. In a battle of contrasting styles, both teams will be looking to get off to a 2-0 start to conference play.
Last Time Out:
HPU opened league play in impressive fashion by beating Longwood 81-60 on Tuesday night in the Millis Center. The score was close for the first few minutes, but a quick 8-0 run, which featured back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore Teddy Vincent, gave HPU a commanding lead that it never relinquished.
Vincent wasn’t the only Panther that was hot from behind the arc on Sunday. The team shot a season-best 11-of-24 (46 percent) from 3-point land featuring a 5-of-10 effort from sophomore Kaylah Keys who again led the way scoring 21 points.
Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson didn’t involve herself in the 3-point barrage, but she did just about everything else for the Purple & White. The forward posted 10 points, seven rebounds, six blocks, five assists and two steals in the winning effort. Fellow senior Latrice Phelps just missed a double-double scoring nine points while leading the team with nine rebounds. Senior Ashante Richard dished out a team-best six assists as the Panthers assisted on 19 of the team’s 30 field goals.
The Blue Hose also earned a win in its Big South opener with a 55-50 victory at home over Gardner-Webb. Freshman Janie Miles led the team with 11 points as Presbyterian held the Bulldogs to 31 percent shooting from the floor and just 21 percent from beyond the arc.
Holding the score down is nothing new for the Blue Hose. The team has the best defense in the Big South allowing just 44.7 points per game while holding its opponents to 28.5 percent shooting from the floor. Saturday’s showdown will be a clash of styles as the Panthers will want to get in transition and score – HPU is the league’s second-highest scoring offense – while Presbyterian will want to keep the score low – the team averages 53.9 points per contest.
Balance is key for Presbyterian, which has six players averaging at least five points each outing, but none that average double figures. Redshirt-junior Keyonna Allen leads the way with 9.0 PPG with Miles close behind at 8.0 PPG. Aianna Kelly, a 5-8 sophomore, leads the team in rebounding with 7.1 per game while also serving as the team’s third leading scorer.
Similar to High Point, the Blue Hose are 3-0 at home and just 1-3 on the road. The two teams split their two meetings last season. HPU won 75-64 at home and Presbyterian won 56-48 in the Templeton Center.
• The Panthers are killing it from beyond the arc the last two games. The team has knocked down 20-of-43 3-point attempts to raise its season percentage from 25 to 32 percent. Keys has led the way going 11-of-22 during that stretch.
• High Point is 35-11 (.760) 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.
• Sophomore Kaylah Keys
• Kaylah Keys and redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson are the highest-scoring tandem in the Big South. The inside-outside combo is averaging 39.2 points a game. Keys is second in the league with 17.7 PPG while Robertson is at 15.2.
• Stacia Robertson
• Senior Ashante Richard is second in the Big South with 4.4 assists per contest and is third in minutes played (32.4). Sophomore DeAnneisha Jackson
It’s the women’s chance to earn Triad bragging rights on Monday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Millis Center against UNCG. The High Point men beat UNCG last Monday and now the women get their opportunity to make it a sweep. The Spartans lead the all-time series between the two 14-12.