ROCK HILL, S.C. – Junior Cheyenne Parker registered her ninth double-double of the season but it wasn’t enough to get the High Point University women’s basketball team past a hot-shooting Winthrop team. The Eagles topped HPU 78-61 to begin Big South Conference play on Tuesday at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C.
Parker finished the game with 17 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks for her ninth double-double in 11 games this season. Graduate student Kendra Wallace had a career-high 16 points and five rebounds in the loss.
“In my opinion, Winthrop is a team that should contend for the Big South Championship this season,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “This was a good test for us to start Big South Conference play. Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted but we learned a lot about our team.”
Winthrop freshman Shaquilla Nunn had 16 point and 16 rebounds to lead the Eagles. Big South Conference Preseason Player of the Year Dequesha McClanahan had a game-high 19 points and six assists. The Eagles struggled from three-point range in the first half, 1-9, but turned up the pressure in the second half, shooting 30 percent to open up a double-digit lead.
High Point is 5-6 overall and 0-1 in Big South action while Winthrop improves to 6-4 overall and 1-0 in league games.
Parker collected an offensive rebound and scored on the put back to tie the game 9-9 early in the opening period. The Eagles held High Point scoreless for the next three minutes and opened up a 15-9 lead. Parker was fouled by Diana Choibekova while attempting to grab a defensive board. She connected on both free throws to snap High Point’s scoreless streak. On High Point’s next possession Wallace sank a three-pointer from Tremblay to cut the lead to 15-14.
The Panthers regained the lead, 22-21, on back-to-back layups from Stacia Robertson. McClanahan hit a jump shot and Aliyah Kilptrick converted two free throws to quickly turn the game back in Winthrop’s favor, 25-22. Sophomore Lexi Patterson tied the game, 25-25, with 4:41 on the clock with her second tre of the game. Winthrop finished out the half on 13-7 run to take a 38-32 lead in to the locker room.
Shooting troubles plagued High Point in the second half. The Panthers went 1-8 in the first four minutes of the period allowing Winthrop to open up a 46-34 lead. High Point closed the lead to nine, 52-43, on a layup from Parker with 12:11 on the clock.
Winthrop maintained a double-digit lead until Wallace hit her third tre of the night with 5:03 to go, cutting Winthrop’s lead back to nine, 63-54. McClanahan and Kilpatrick scored on two straight possessions for the Eagles to make the lead 67-54. They kept the lead in double-digits to win the game 76-61.
Junior Tayler Tremblay finished the night with six points, eight rebounds and six assists. Redshirt-sophomore Lindsay Puckett added eight points and four assists.
High Point wraps up non-conference play at Mercer on Friday at 7 p.m. The Panthers are 1-2 against Mercer, including a 75-67 loss last year at the Millis Center. High Point’s lone win over the Bears came on Dec. 28, 2009 by a score of 81-71.