HPU Women’s Basketball Drops Cancun Finale 81-61 To Georgia Tech

Posted by Press Release on November 27, 2015 at 9:57 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

* Freshman Haleigh Hatfield posted a season-high 17 points while pulling down seven rebounds to lead the Purple & White.
* Freshman Emma Bockrath added 12 points as the freshman class tallied 37 of the team’s 61 points in the game.
* High Point flies back home on Sunday to prepare for Tuesday’s conference opener against Longwood in the Millis Center at 7:00 p.m.

CANCUN, Mexico – The High Point University women’s basketball team dropped its final contest of the Cancun Challenge to Georgia Tech, 81-61, on Friday night in the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.

Freshmen accounted for 37 points for the Panthers (1-6) behind a season-best outing by freshman Haleigh Hatfield (17 points and seven rebounds). Meanwhile, Aaliyah Whiteside paced the Yellow Jackets (5-2) with 21 points.

“I was proud of our response because that’s a pretty good Georgia Tech team and I thought our kids really battled,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “I felt like a lot of people came in and contributed and it was a total team effort and our chemistry is going to be big for us and it’s coming around.”

Freshman Emma Bockrath (12 points) and junior Kaylah Keys (14 points) joined Hatfield in double figures as the Purple & White shot 42.6 percent (20-or-47) on the night. On the other side, the HPU defense held Georgia Tech to a 47.0 percentage (31-of-66). But the length of the Yellow Jackets allowed them to earn a 38-to-26 advantage on the glass and a +12 turnover margin thanks to 16 steals.

Sophomore Kat Harris rounded out the Panthers’ four players scoring in double figures with 10 points as she dished out a team-best five assists.

Early 3-pointers from Hatfield and Bockrath gave the Panthers an 8-7 edge at the 5:30 mark of the first quarter. However, the swarming Yellow Jackets defense forced seven turnovers to fuel a 14-0 run to close the frame with a 21-8 advantage.

Keys, then, sandwiched a putback and a free throw around a Harris 3-pointer to cut the deficit to ten (24-14) with 7:12 left in the half. After Georgia Tech scored a basket inside, Hatfield drilled another triple to pull HPU within nine at 26-17 (6:41). But the Panthers couldn’t get any closer as the Yellow Jackets responded with a 13-6 spurt to stretch their lead to 16 points (39-23, 2:55). In the final two minutes, HPU bounced back to outscore Georgia Tech 6-3 to go to the locker room trailing 42-29.

Much like the second quarter, Keys scored five quick points to cut the deficit to 10 (44-34, 9:20). However, Georgia Tech earned a 12-6 edge the rest of the quarter to take a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter (56-40).

Bockrath hit her second 3-pointer of the contest to pull HPU within 14 before the Yellow Jackets scored the next five points to take a 19-point advantage (65-46, 7:08). From there, Georgia Tech was able to hold on for an 81-61 victory.

The Panthers return to the states and begin Big South play on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. against Longwood in the Millis Center. After that, the team continues league action against Radford on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2:00 p.m.

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