LYNCHBURG, VA – The High Point University women’s basketball team beat Liberty 94-89 in double overtime on Thursday at the Vines Center. The Panthers improve to 9-3 in Big South play and move in to a tie for first place with the victory. Freshman Kaylah Keys led High Point with 26 points in the win.
“I am so proud of this team,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “Part of me was nervous about how we would respond to our first overtime game. We are young and haven’t been in this situation yet, especially on the road. This team showed a lot of toughness and never quit. Liberty pushed us the entire game and never quit no matter how long we had the lead. I was so pleased to see our young team answer every time Liberty made a run.”
Keys scored 26 points including a three at the end of the first overtime to tie the game 82-82 and second the game to double overtime. She was also 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the game. Redshirt-sophomore Stacia Robertson posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds and junior Latrice Phelps added 18 points and seven rebounds. Redshirt-junior Lindsay Puckett added 13 points and four assists.
The Panthers swept the season series from Liberty, becoming just the third Big South team to do so in the last 15 seasons. High Point also swept the Flames in 2006-07 and Gardner-Webb swept LU in 2009-10. High Point has beat Liberty at the Vines Center in each of the last three seasons The last conference team to win at the Vines Center in three seasons was UNC Greensboro between 1993-94 and 1996-97.
Liberty’s Mickayla Sanders hit a three pointer with one second on the clock to tie the game at the end of regulation. With 1:54 left in the first overtime Keys made two free throws to give HPU a 79-75 lead. Liberty scored the next seven points, taking a 82-79 lead on a three by Sadalia Ellis. Keys answered with a three from the top of the arc to tie the game 82-82 and force the second overtime period.
The Panthers outscored LU 12-7 in the second overtime to pull out the win. Keys scored the first basket of the period, a jumper from Robertson. Ashante Richard grabbed a lose ball under the Liberty basket and was fouled, making both free throws to give HPU a four-point lead. Keys sank her free throws with 26 seconds left to extend the lead to seven, 93-86 and keep the game out of Liberty’s reach.
High Point went 31-of-34 from the free-throw line in the win, with Keys, Robertson, Richard, and DeAnneisha Jackson all shooting 100 percent. Richard finished with a career-high seven assists to go with six points.
High Point returns to the Millis Center with a five-game wins streak on Thursday, Feb. 6 to host Campbell at 7 p.m. HPU topped the Camels 76-62 on the road on Jan. 4. Keys led High Point with 24 points while Robertson posted a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.