HPU WBB Panthers’ Late Rally Falls Short

Posted by Press Release on December 3, 2020 at 8:57 am under College | Comments are off for this article

Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: Wofford 53, High Point 50
Records: Wofford 2-1 (SoCon ACC), HPU 0-2 (0-0 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Monday, December 7 — vs. North Carolina Central (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.) 6 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team tied the game with 2:31 remaining in the fourth quarter but couldn’t quite find a way to break through and complete the comeback in a 53-50 loss to Wofford College Wednesday evening (Dec. 2). Junior guard Skyler Curran was active on the glass all game long, collecting a career-high 15 rebounds to go with her 13 points for her first double-double of the season.

“I don’t think we played exceptionally well and I think we came out flat,” head coach Chelsea Banbury said following the game. “I don’t think we executed on offense very well. We got stagnant and didn’t make them guard multiple actions on each possession. Wofford is a high-energy team and I give them credit for coming in and being ready to play. I was proud of how we did on the boards, though. In their first two games, Wofford had 23 and 24 offensive rebounds and we held them to nine, so I was happy with how we battled on the boards.”

The Panthers struggled out of the gate, shooting just 25% in the first quarter. Curran rolled in a layup in the opening minute but the Panthers’ offense went cold for almost a minute after that until Curran found an inside lane for her second basket of the game with just under seven minutes showing on the clock in the first. High Point’s next field goal didn’t come until just over two minutes remaining in the quarter when freshman Claire Wyatt ended the slump, with free throws from Curran and senior Chyna McMichel bridging the gaps.

Neither team was able to pull ahead when the quarter ended, with the score knotted at 15. Both teams shot under 40% and only had one three-pointer made each, despite combining for 14 attempts from behind the arc. Wofford had a slight edge on the glass in the first 10 minutes, outrebounding HPU by a slim, 14-12 margin.

Both teams shot better percentage-wise in the second quarter than the first, but High Point still struggled to find any consistency from the floor. Redshirt freshman Cydney Johnson and redshirt sophomore Courtney Meadows each hit inside jumpers early in the quarter but once again the Purple and White had an extended cold period while the Terriers built a lead. HPU went over three minutes before its next field goal to snap out of it – a triple from redshirt sophomore Jenson Edwards.

The Panthers tied it up at 27-27 shortly after when redshirt sophomore Zaria Wright scored on her first shot of the game from downtown. Despite erasing the small deficit to tie things up, High Point just couldn’t get the push it needed to retake the lead and Wofford ended the half on a seven-point run to take a 34-27 lead into halftime with a one-rebound advantage on the boards, 20-19.

Curran had six of High Point’s 19 rebounds in the first half and picked up as many in the third quarter to secure the double-double. Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the third quarter with each team scoring 11 points and the Terriers’ lead never dropping below five.

High Point’s defense clamped down in the fourth, holding the visitors to shooting just 2-13 from the floor for 15%. Freshman LaImani Simmons converted on a three-point play two-and-a-half minutes into the quarter and then picked up two more points on the break on the next possession to make it a two-point game. Wofford pushed its lead back up to five with four minutes remaining, but the Panthers tied it up just over a minute later with 2:31 showing on the clock. Edwards connected on a jumper in the paint and then had a huge block on the defensive end that set up sophomore Callie Scheier for a triple in the corner to tie things up at 48-48.

That was as close as the Panthers got as Wofford scored the next five points, despite missing a trio of free throws. Edwards hit one more shot with seven seconds left to pull within a possession but the Terriers were able to avoid the High Point pressure until finally being fouled with less than a second remaining to seal the game, 53-50.

HPU’s homestand continues on Monday (Dec. 7) when North Carolina Central comes to town, with a quick turnaround to Wednesday (Dec. 9) when North Carolina Wesleyan visits the Millis Center.

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