HPU Women’s Basketball Rallies To Take Down William & Mary 87-80 In OT

• The Panthers trailed by 12 (58-46) with 13:26 to play but outscored WMU 41-22 over the final 13 minutes of regulation and overtime.
• Sophomore DeAnneisha Jackson scored a career-high 20 points while adding 10 rebounds and four blocks to post her third double-double in four games this season and her second career-high in three games.
• Sophomore Kaylah Keys posted 20 points with five assists, three rebounds and three steals to notch her second 20-point game this season.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Despite trailing most of the afternoon, the High Point University women’s basketball team erased a 12-point deficit midway through the second half to win 87-80 in overtime.

HPU (2-2) outscored the Tribe (2-2) 41-22 in the final 13 minutes of regulation and overtime to pull out the win.

Sophomore DeAnneisha Jackson led the way with a career-high 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks while shooting 12-of-13 from the free throw line. It marked Jackson’s third double-double in the first four games of the season.

Fellow sophomore Kaylah Keys helped pace the offense with 20 points and five assists while chipping in three steals on the defensive end. Senior Latrice Phelps just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, including four offensive boards.

“I’m really proud of our kids’ effort tonight,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said after her team’s comeback win. “We shot the ball well [in the second half] so they had to come out of the zone and it’s tough to stop Latrice and DeAnneisha man-to-man.”

Senior Lindsey Puckett stepped up big in overtime scoring four of her eight points in the extra frame while senior Ashante Richard scored five points and dished out six assists in the contest. Senior Stacia Robertson chipped in with eight points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

The Tribe got out to a lead behind their active defense. WMU forced seven HPU turnovers in the first seven minutes to get out and score eight fastbreak points to build a 15-12 lead. The Panthers worked their way back into the lead as Keys hit a 2-point jumper and a three and Robertson went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe during the extended run to give High Point a 22-18 advantage.

However, turnovers became a problem again for the Purple & White against the aggressive William & Mary defense and HPU fell behind again. The Tribe used 12 first-half turnovers and 4-of-8 shooting from behind the arc to build a 44-37 lead headed into the half.

Keys opened the second half with a three to bring HPU back within four at 44-40, but the Tribe responded with a 7-2 spurt to stretch its lead out to nine at 51-42 as the game reached the first media timeout. The lead ballooned out to 12 (58-46) with 13:26 to go when Marlena Tremba hit her third three of the game. But the Panthers refused to back down and when Jackson finished off her three-point play, they were back within five at 58-53 with 12 minutes to go.

William & Mary once again went on another mini run to build its lead back to nine (65-56). Then four points by Jackson sandwiched around a huge three by sophomore Teddy Vincent cut the lead to two with seven minutes remaining. After Jenna Green missed two free throws for the visitors Ashante Richard tied it up (65-65) with a jumper from the left elbow. The Panthers finally got over the hump and moved ahead 71-69 for the first time since the 9:59 mark in the first half with two free throws from Latrice Phelps with three minutes left.

Phelps and Richard each split their trips to the line in the final minute of the game to give HPU a 75-73 lead. But Green raced the length of the court after grabbing a rebound with three seconds left to knot the score at 75-75. Keys got a last-second, 3-quarter court heave but it fell short and sent the game to overtime.

The Panthers wasted no time taking the lead as Puckett assisted on Phelps’ jumper just 25 seconds into the extra period. Kasey Curtis immediately evened the score at 77-77 for the Tribe, but Puckett then nailed a short jumper to move HPU ahead for good at 79-77. Following a defensive stop the Panthers’ offensive possession was extended by three straight offensive rebounds by Phelps before she finished the possession with a made layup. Six straight made free throws from Puckett, Jackson and Keys closed out the win in the final 90 seconds to finish off the 87-80 victory.

“I just wanted to win the game,” Jackson said about her third double-double of the year. “I trust in my teammates and I want them to trust in me. I don’t look to get double-doubles; I just try to play hard.”

Jackson and her teammates will hit the road on Tuesday for a game at Davidson at 7 p.m. before returning home next Sunday (Nov. 30) to play Elon in the Millis Center at 3 p.m.