• Sophomore Haleigh Hatfield pulled down a Big South Tournament record 23 rebounds while posting her second double-double in a row.
• Freshman Camryn Brown drilled two fourth-quarter three’s en route to an 11-point performance.
• Sophomore Shea Morgan grabbed nine rebounds as High Point posted a 53-33 edge on the glass.
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Despite 13 points and 23 rebounds from sophomore Haleigh Hatfield, the High Point University women’s basketball team fell 55-48 to Presbyterian in Friday’s Big South quarterfinals at Liberty.
The No. 3 seed Panthers (15-15) fell behind early and trailed the Blue Hose (13-17) by 10 at the break. In the second half, the Purple & White battled back to within five on two occassions, but couldn’t pull even as Presbyterian earned a spot in Saturday’s Big South Tournament semifinals.
“I just hate that the season ended like this, especially for Kaylah Keys,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “This year was a journey and thought it would be a different ending. The pace definitely wasn’t in our favor and we just didn’t hit the shots that we had in the half court either.”
Hatfield’s 23 boards gave her HPU’s first 20-rebound game since Stacia Robertson in 2014 and are the most in a Big South Tournament game ever.
Freshman Camryn Brown gave the Panthers two double-digit scorers racking up 11 points on the strength of two clutch fourth-quarter three-pointers. Meanwhile, senior Kaylah Keys wrapped up her record-setting career with eight points in the contest.
“Kaylah has meant everything to our program,” Hendrix continued. “Not just as a basketball player, but as a leader. Usually someone of her talent isn’t as humble as she is and you don’t have many leaders like that. As a leader and a person, it’s going to be hard to find another Kaylah Keys.”
On the inside, sophomore Shea Morgan chipped in with six points and nine rebounds as HPU posted a 53-33 edge on the glass.
In the end, the shots just didn’t gall for the Purple & White as the squad shot 14-of-57 (24.6 percent). On the other end, Presbyterian hit 21-of-57 (36.8 percent) as both teams connected on six three-pointers on the night.
Both teams shot under 30 percent in the first quarter as two early three-pointers by the Blue Hose allowed PC to build an 11-7 edge through one period.
Despite seven points from Hatfield in the first nine minutes of the frame, the Blue Hose were able to build a 12-point lead, 33-21. However, Hatfield canned two more free throws and Edwards converted a steal into a layup to send HPU into the break down 33-25.
Similar to the first quarter, both teams struggled to get traction on the offensive end as PC won the quarter 8-6 to take a 41-31 into the fourth.
In the first four and a half minutes of the final frame, the Blue Hose were able to stretch their lead to 13, 47-34. Keys canned a trifecta at the 5:18 mark to cut it to 10. The Panthers earned a handful of open looks in the next three possessions, but just couldn’t get the shots to fall as PC again gained a 12-point advantage, 49-37 with three minutes left.
Brown then canned back-to-back long-range bombs to cut the deficit to six, 49-43, with 1:40 to play. However, the Purple & White couldn’t pull any closer as PC earned a spot in the Big South semifinals against No. 7 UNC Asheville.