HPU Women Panthers pull away for win over Asheville

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team rallied in the second half to beat Asheville, 49-35, Thursday night in the Millis Center. Junior Cheyenne Parker notched her 20th double-double of the season with 13 points and 17 rebounds.

Sophomore Lexi Patterson had 10 points, her third straight game scoring in double-figures and redshirt-sophomore Lindsay Puckett finished the game with nine points, five rebounds and three steals.

“We didn’t come out with the right amount of energy or focus,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “Asheville is a better team then its record and they outworked us in the first half. We came out much stronger in the second half, especially on the defensive end. Lindsay Puckett and Lexi Patterson really set the tone for us and everyone else followed suit. Lexi has been putting in a lot of extra time in the gym and it has shown the last three games.”

Kelli Riles led Asheville with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Paige Love chipped in with 11 points.

With the win, High Point improved to 15-9 overall and 9-4 in conference play. Asheville fell to 2-23 on the season and 0-14 in league play.

The first half was a physical matchup with the teams sharing 18 fouls. Stacia Robertson gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead with 18:20 on the clock after a steal and a fast-break layup. Over the next five minutes, the Panthers and Bulldogs traded baskets to make the score 6-6 with 13:50 left in the half.

High Point went on a 7-0 run starting at 9:57 with a layup from Puckett. Puckett brought the Panthers within one after she beat her defender to the hoop and snatched a pass from Tayler Tremblay for an easy basket. Parker capped the run with a put-back layup to make the score 15-11. The following three minutes were scoreless from both sides until Asheville’s Grace Blaylock hit a jumper to pull her team within two, 15-13, with 4:27 left. The Bulldogs ended the half with a 6-0 run to give them the lead at the half with a score of 19-15.

High Point scored on three of their first four possessions and went on an 11-0 run to start the second half. The Panthers took the lead after Parker grabbed a defensive rebound and carried the ball down the floor to find Puckett for a three-pointer. That made it 20-19 with 18:53 left, and HPU led for the remainder of the game.

The Panther defense held the Bulldogs without a field goal until 15:11 when Blaylock hit a three-pointer. The three ended HPU’s run and made the score 26-22. An old-fashioned three-point play from Parker and back-to-back three-pointers from Patterson increased the Panther lead to 15 (39-24) with 9:18 left in the game. The Panthers cruised to a 49-35 win.

Robertson finished the game with seven points, nine rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Parker had three blocks to go with her doble-double.

The win is High Points ninth in a row over the Bulldogs. The Panthers return to the Millis Center on Saturday when they face Winthrop at 3:30 p.m.