• Six Panthers scored in double figures led by senior Kat Harris who tallied 18 off the HPU bench.
• Junior Emma Bockrath tied Candyce Sellars for the most consecutive starts in HPU’s Division I era by starting her 73rd straight game tonight.
• High Point hit its first 16 free throws and finished the night 17-of-19 (89.5 percent) to seal the victory.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team saw an 11-point fourth-quarter lead slip away before bouncing back to claim an 83-80 triumph over Gardner-Webb in the squad’s first conference game of the year played on Tuesday night.
The Panthers (7-5, 1-0) led 53-42 entering the fourth thanks in large part to solid bench contributions from senior Kat Harris and freshman Jiselle Thomas. However, the Runnin’ Bulldogs (10-3, 0-1) outscored the home team 28-17 in the final regulation period to send the game to overtime tied 70-all.
In the extra frame, GWU took an early 73-72 advantage before junior Lindsey Edwards converted two free throws to give HPU an edge they wouldn’t relinquish. The lead grew to five, 79-74, on Harris’ fourth trifecta before HPU salted away an 83-80 victory at the line.
“What a start to conference play with an overtime game in our first one out,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “I’m proud of our kids for pulling it out, but I’m trying to get them to be more consistent. This is the fourth game in a row that went up-and-down and, although it makes for an entertaining game, it’s very stressful. I’m glad we pulled this one out, but we definitely have some maturing to do.”
Harris’ 18 points came on the strength of a 4-of-7 night from beyond the arc and a 4-of-4 mark at the charity stripe. Her 18 points off the bench led six Panthers scoring in double figures on the night.
Among those six, Edwards registered 14 points and tied a season high in rebounds (six) and steals (three). Meanwhile, sophomore Camryn Brown equaled her career high with eight assists and added 12 points.
Overall, the Purple & White overcame a slow start to shoot 41.7 percent (30-72) as GWU hit 43.3 percent (29-67). The difference for High Point came at the line where the team hit its first 16 attempts and finished 17-of-19 (89.5 percent) while on the other side the Runnin’ Bulldogs went 13-of-24 (54.2 percent).
On the inside, junior Shea Morgan recorded her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds as redshirt-junior Kennedy Currie notched five points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Joining Harris off the bench, Thomas finished the night with 12 points in 20 minutes of action. Junior Emma Bockrath was the sixth double-digit scorer with 10 points to go with five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
With the start – her 73rd in 73 career games at HPU – Bockrath tied Candyce Sellars for the longest start streaks in HPU’s Division I era.
Gardner-Webb outrebounded the Panthers 44-38, but committed three more turnovers (19-16). HPU’s up-tempo offense garnered an 18-2 edge in fast-break points.
The Panthers shook off a slow offensive start when they went to the bench bringing in Harris and Thomas. After GWU led 13-6 with 3:31 left in the first quarter, the reserve duo combined for 16 of the team’s 26 points the rest of the half.
Harris hit a trifecta to kickstart the offense before Thomas’ three-pointer early in the second pulled the Panthers within one possession. Harris finally put HPU up with two free throws at the 7:07 mark of the second, 20-19.
Although, GWU tied to score at 26-all, the Panther entered the break up 32-29.
Following halftime the Runnin’ Bulldogs battled back to even the score at 40-40 with 2:55 left in the third. However, Harris immediately answered with a three-pointer as High Point regained the lead.
That three by the HPU senior sparked a 13-2 capped by another Harris trifecta as the Panthers carried a 53-42 advantage into the final frame.
But the Runnin’ Bulldogs didn’t back down opening the quarter with a 27-14 run to take a 69-67 lead with 90 seconds to play. On the following possession, Brown just beat the shot clock with a long-range three-pointer to make it 72-69.
But in the closing seconds, GWU hit a free throw to send the game to overtime tied 70-70.
Edwards scored the first four points of the extra five minutes to give HPU a 74-73 lead before Harris hit her three-pointer to give the Panthers a five-point edge. Currie, Morgan and Brown all hit free throws in the final 30 seconds to close out the 83-80 win.
The Purple & White hit the road this weekend traveling to UNC Asheville on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.