HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team forced 21 turnovers on its way to a 78-57 win over Coastal Carolina in the Big South quarterfinals on Friday night in the Millis Center. Junior Erin Reynolds scored 24 points including 19 in the first half to lead the Panthers.
“I am really excited about the energy that we came out with here tonight,” head coach Jennifer Hoover said. “We were a little tight to start which isn’t surprising considering it is the first game of the tournament. We were able to get some transition baskets which helped settle us down and our offense got into a flow behind our two guards.”
Reynolds shot 10-23 from the floor and 2-3 from behind the arc to pick up her team-high eighth 20-point game of the season. Reynolds tied an HPU tournament record with a team-high five steals in the game, scoring eight points off the turnovers. The junior also tied for the team lead with four assists.
Sophomore Cheyenne Parker finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season. The 12 boards by the sophomore gave Parker 369 for the season which is a new Big South single-season record. Parker surpassed the previous record of 363 which was set by Liberty’s Avery Warley last season. Fellow sophomore Tayler Tremblay also picked up a double-double in the contest with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Olivia Irick paced CCU with 19 points while freshmen Shatia Cole and AJ Jordan also finished in double figures with 14 and 12 points respectively.
High Point improves to 19-11 overall with the win and advance to the Big South semifinals for the fifth-straight season. Coastal finishes the season with a 13-15 overall record.
The Chanticleers started the game hot from the field connecting on four of their first five shots to take an early 8-1 lead. Back-to-back layups by senior Shamia Brown and Reynolds started a 7-0 run which pulled the Panthers even at 8-8.
High Point trailed by 1, 20-19, with 9:16 remaining when two free throws by Brown gave the Panthers the lead and began an 18-4 run over the next five minutes. Reynolds scored eight of the team’s 18 points as HPU pulled ahead by 13, 37-14.
Coastal managed to pull back within nine after a layup by Irick but a layup by Parker and a trey from Reynolds gave High Point a 44-30 lead at the break.
The Panthers’ lead would never drop below 13 in the second half as High Point continued to stifle the CCU offense. HPU used a late 12-5 run to close out the game, picking up the 21-point win.
High Point had 14 steals in the game, scoring 24 points off turnovers and 14 on the fast break. Four different players had at least two steals led by Reynolds’ five thefts. Brown, Parker and junior Laura Whitt all had two steals in the game.
The Panthers finished with a 49-34 edge on the boards and had a season-high 25 offensive rebounds. High Point’s rebounding advantage helped contribute to a 77-56 edge in shot attempts.
HPU will face the winner of the quarterfinal game between No. 3-seed Winthrop and No. 6-seed Radford on Saturday, March 10, at 3:30 p.m. The Panthers swept Winthrop and split with Radford during the regular season. The semifinal will be the second of the day and will follow the game between No. 1-seed Liberty and No. 5-seed Charleston Southern.