HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team’s late comeback attempt fell just short as the Panthers fell to Charleston Southern by a score of 56-53 on Sunday afternoon in the Millis Center. Freshman Kaylah Keys led HPU in scoring for the fifth-straight game, putting up 18 points in the loss.
High Point cut a 13-point Charleston Southern lead to three late in the second half but couldn’t complete the comeback. Freshman DeAnneisha Jackson hit both of her free throws to pull HPU within three, 52-49, with just under five minutes to play. CSU matches High Point basket for basket down the stretch to hold on for the 56-53 victory.
“We didn’t come out with any focus,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “Charleston Southern outworked us and when we got close we made bad shot choices or turned the ball over. We put ourselves in too deep a hole in the first five minutes and couldn’t dig our way out of it.”
Keys led High Point with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists. Jackson finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks, scoring all 10 points in the second half. Redshirt-junior Stacia Robertson posted a game-high 15 rebounds to with with seven points, two assists, two steals and three blocks.
The loss drops High Point to 8-8 on the season with a 4-3 mark in Big South play. Charleston Southern improves to 6-9 overall and 3-4 in the league.
The Panthers had a cold-shooting first half while Charleston Southern forced HPU in to 13 turnovers. The Buccaneers jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first five minutes, capped off by an Erin Bratcher three pointer. Robertson scored a layup with 10:53 on the clock to pull HPU within three, 12-9. Tatum Jarvis scored from beyond the arc to spark a 9-0 run which pushed CSU’s lead to 21-9 with nine minutes left in the opening half. Phelps drained a 15-foot jumper and hit two foul shots to cut Charleston Southern’s lead to six, 21-15, with 6:46 to go. The Bucs finished the half with an 11-5 run to take a 32-20 lead in to the break. HPU shot 25 percent in the first half, including 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Jackson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored while being fouled by Bratcher. She sank the free throw to cut CSU’s lead to 10, 42-32, with 14:06 to play. Keys hit back-to-back three pointers to close the lead to three, 50-47 with just over six minutes left. Bratcher was fouled with two seconds left on the shot clock, and made both free throws, keeping the Charleston Southern lead at five, 54-49. Keys and Lexi Patterson each made one free throw to get the lead back down to three with 1:41 to play.
The Buccaneers crashed the boards in the final two minutes, limiting HPU’s chances and held on for the 56-53 win.
Bratcher finished with 19 points and six rebounds to lead Charleston Southern. Jarvis added 13 points and DJ Fowler chipped in 12.
The Panthers go back on the road on Thursday, Jan. 16 to face UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs beat Radford on the road Saturday to move to 4-3 in Big South play. The Panthers are 30-11 all-time against Asheville and have won the last nine meetings.