HIGH POINT, N.C. – Stacia Robertson posted a double-double with a game-highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds to lead the High Point University women’s basketball team to a 78-63 win over Gardner-Webb on Thursday night at the Millis Center. The Panthers led the entire game after scoring the game’s first nine points and opening up a lead of as many as 23 points in the first half.
“Last weekend we didn’t play our best basketball and I was pleased to see us come out tonight with a renewed energy and focus,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “Our defense dictates our offense and we did a good job forcing turnovers and turning them in to points. Stacia had a fantastic night. To beat Gardner-Webb we had to rebound and Stacia did that for us all night.”
Robertson finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. She also had five blocks, three steals and two assists. Freshman Kaylah Keys scored 21 points, including five three pointers. It is the first time High Point has had two 20-point scorers since Feb. 28, 2013 against Campbell. Junior Ashante Richard dished out a career-high eight assists to go with seven points and five rebounds.
With the win High Point moves to 13-4 in Big South play and clinches a bye in the first round of the Big South Conference Tournament. The Panthers are in second place, one game behind Winthrop.
Panthers jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the game with three-straight buckets beyond the arc. Keys hit two and Teddy Vincent added one, all from the same spot on the left wing. Jasmine Dale hit a three pointer in transition to make it a 13-8 game with 15:47 on the clock. HPU held Gardner-Webb scoreless for the next four minutes and opened up a double-digit lead, 20-10 on a three-point play by Robertson.
High Point built a 20-point lead with 6:49 left in the half on a pair of free throws from DeAnneisha Jackson, 33-12. Vincent drained another three pointer to give High Point its biggest lead of the half, 23 points, 36-13 with 5:55 to play. Gardner-Webb closed the half on a 18-8 run to cut High Point’s lead 44-31 at halftime.
Gardner-Webb started the second half with another push, cutting High Point’s lead to six points, 50-44, on a pair of Candace Brown free throws with 14:44 to play. It was as close as the Runnin’ Bulldogs would come in the game. Robertson gave High Point an 11-point lead, 67-56, on a jumper with 5:12 to play and the Panthers maintained the double-figure lead for the rest of the game.
HPU finished the game with 20 assists on 25 made field goals. The Panthers also went 21-of-26 at the free-throw line.
High Point will honor Lexi Patterson and Stacia Robertson before Saturday’s final home game against UNC Asheville. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at the Millis Center. The Panthers beat Asheville, 71-66, on the road on Jan. 16. It started HPU’s seven-game win streak.