BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The High Point University women’s basketball team lost a defensive battle at Alabama-Birmingham on Tuesday. Freshman Kaylah Keys led the Panthers with 18 points in the 58-43 loss.
“This was an uncharacteristic game for us,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “We played as a group of individuals and not as a team. We have to get back to the team-first mentality that brought us success to start the season.”
Keys had three rebounds and two assists to go with her team-high 18 points. Redshirt-junior Stacia Robertson had eight points and eight rebounds in the game and freshman DeAnneisha Jackson scored eight points with six rebounds.
Ashley Grimes led UAB with 21 points and six steals and Chelsee Black added 17 points and five rebounds.
The Blazers took a 15-5 lead through the first seven and a half minutes of the game. Freshman Teddy Vincent checked in to the game and ended HPU’s four minute scoring drought with a three pointer from Lexi Patterson to make the score 15-8. Robertson went up and under her defender for layup that pulled the Panthers within four, 15-11.
Keys drove the lane and split a pair of defenders to score and cut UAB’s lead to 19-16 with 5:41 left in the opening half. The Blazers outscored High Point 10-3 in the final minutes of the first half to take a 29-19 lead in to the locker room.
The Panthers were unable to get any offensive rhythm going in the second half making two if their first 13 field goal attempts. Grimes scored to give UAB a 41-23 lead. Keys answered with a layup to spark a seven-point run for the Panthers. Jackson made two free throws to get HPU within nine, 41-32 with 9:17 to play. HPU wouldn’t get any closer than nine points as the Blazers closed the game with a 17-11 run to win the game 58-43.
Vincent finished the game with four points and six rebounds and junior Latrice Phelps added five points and six rebounds.
High Point drops to 5-5 on the season with the loss while UAB moves to 7-4.
High Point will play at North Carolina on Saturday. Tipoff against the Tar Heels is set for 1 p.m. The Panthers are 3-1 all-time against North Carolina but the teams haven’t faced each other since 1977-78.