RALEIGH, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team fell to NC State by a score of 88-78 in the first round of the WNIT on Thursday in Raleigh, N.C. Senior Shamia Brown wrapped up her HPU career with a double-double, scoring 29 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
“I was so proud of the never-give-up attitude the team showed tonight,” head coach Jennifer Hoover said. “We never stopped fighting. We didn’t play the smartest early and gave up a few too many transition baskets. I thought we made some adjustments at half and cut that part out of their game. We made them earn everything they got. I can’t talk about this team enough. They just fought until the end and I appreciate their overall effort and attitude.”
Brown tied her career high for points in a game with 29. The senior shot 8-16 from the floor and hit a career-high 13 shots from the free throw line to lead all HPU scorers. Brown finished the season with 533 points, a new HPU Div. I single-season record. The 13 rebounds by Brown led the team and tied her season high.
“Shamia was a warrior just like she has been for us all season long,” Hoover said. “I would not have expected anything less in her final performance in a High Point uniform. This was the epitome of what she brought to us every day. She just never quits. She has an amazing heart and plays with such great passion.”
Junior Erin Reynolds turned in her fifth-straight 20-point game to end the season, scoring 22 points in the loss for the Panthers. The junior also led the team with five steals and tied for the team lead with three assists. Redshirt-sophomore Lindsay Puckett also finished in double figures on the night with 11.
Bonae Holston led four NC State players in double figures for the game with 18 points. Marissa Kasternek finished with 16, Kody Burke finished with 15 and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman finished with 13 for the Wolfpack.
High Point finishes the 2011-12 season with a 20-13 record, only its second 20-win season in the team’s Div. I era. NC State moves to 19-15 overall with the win and advances on to play Appalachian State in the second round of the WNIT.
The Wolfpack jumped out to an early advantage, outscoring HPU 16-7 in the first five minutes of action. Three different Panther players scored for High Point in the opening minutes as both sophomore Cheyenne Parker and Brown scored with layups down low and Puckett connected on a three pointer from the corner.
Still trailing by 10 with five minutes left in the first half, High Point rattled off five-straight points in 30 seconds to cut the deficit in half and force a State timeout. Reynolds connected on a three from the elbow and after a missed shot by the Wolfpack, Brown converted a layup off an assist from Reynolds to make the score 33-28.
High Point would close to within four twice in final minutes of the half before going into the break down six, 41-35. Brown had 12 points and seven rebounds at the break to lead HPU while Burke paced the Wolfpack with eight points and six rebounds.
NC State scored the first four points out of the half to take a 45-35 lead, forcing a High Point timeout. The lead would stay between eight and 10 points until a free throw by Reynolds and back-to-back layups by Brown closed HPU to within five at 51-46.
After a 14-6 run by State put the Wolfpack up by 13, Puckett and Reynolds connected on back-to-back three pointers to close back to within seven at 65-58. Following the three from Puckett, Reynolds jumped on a loose ball and converted a fast-break three at the other end.
The Panthers were unable to pull any closer in the game as NC State used a 21-7 run to open its biggest lead of the game at 86-65 with 3:52 left before HPU closed with a 13-2 run to make the final score 88-78.
High Point continued to use its pressure defense to hassle the opponent, forcing 25 turnovers and grabbing 12 steals in the game. The Panthers finished with a 25-15 edge in points off turnovers for the game.