HPU beats Campbell, advances to Big South title game

CONWAY, S.C. – The top-seeded High Point University women’s basketball team beat No. 4 Campbell, 73-69, in the Big South Tournament semifinals on Saturday in Conway, S.C. The Panthers will play in the Big South title game on Sunday at 5 p.m. against either No. 2 Liberty or No. 3 Winthrop.

“One more game,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “This team wants to win and they find a way no matter how the game is going. I continue to be so proud of the effort they bring to the court. Tomorrow is just another game. That has been how we handled every game this season and it won’t change now. However, everyone needs to get to Myrtle Beach tomorrow for one more game.”

The Panthers will make their fourth-ever appearance in the Big South Championship game in search of their first league title. HPU was most recently in the championship game in 2011-12, falling to Liberty 76-55.

Redshirt-junior Stacia Robertson led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Kaylah Keys came up with 18 points and three steals and junior Latrice Phelps added 11 points.

High Point continues its winningest season ever with a 22-9 record. Campbell ends the season at 19-12.

The Panthers outlasted Campbell in a game with 16 lead changes and 12 ties and came away with the 73-69 victory. HPU took the lead for the final time with 15:22 to play in the game on a jumper by DeAnneisha Jackson. The basket gave High Point a 46-44 lead and the Panthers never trailed again.

Jackson’s basket sparked a 10-1 run that pushed HPU’s lead to 56-45 with 11:35 left in the game. Campbell made one last push and drew within one, 68-67 (1:23) on Kiera Gaines’ deep three from the left wing, but High Point again answered on Latrice Phelps’ fast-break bucket just eight seconds later. Keys pulled up for a jumper in the lane and Lindsay Puckett hit a free throw with 15 seconds left to give High Point a 73-69 lead.

With three seconds left in the game Campbell’s D Janelle Brown was fouled shooting a three but missed all three free throws and ended Campbell’s chances at a comeback.

High Point shot 43.5 percent (27-62) on the night, 55 percent (16-29) in the second half and made more free throws (15-23) than the Lady Camels attempted (6-12).

Jackson finished the game with six points and six rebounds and Puckett added three points, three rebounds and two assists. Lexi Patterson chipped in eight points, five rebounds and two assists.

High Point will face either No. 2 Liberty or No. 3 Winthrop in the Big South Championship. HPU swept Liberty in the regular season and split with Winthrop, beating them in the final weekend of the regular season.