• Sophomore Kaylah Keys led the way offensively with 13 points on the strength of three 3-pointers.
• Freshman Kat Harris tied her career-high with nine points on 4-of-8 shooting.
• Despite being outrebounded overall the Panthers held a 12-8 advantage in second-chance points.
DAVIDSON, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball jumped out to an early lead, but couldn’t hold on as Davidson won 76-57 on Tuesday night in Belk Arena.
“I don’t like to make excuses for our team,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said about the team playing its third game in five days. “But I do know our focus wasn’t where it needed to be.”
The Panthers were led on the offensive end by 13 points from sophomore Kaylah Keys, who knocked down three 3-pointers. Freshman Kat Harris was second on the team in scoring with nine points, which tied her career high. Senior Latrice Phelps added eight points and four rebounds before fouling out. Senior Lindsay Puckett hit the game-opening three and finished with seven points, two assists and a steal.
“Latrice always goes hard and she’s someone that everyone needs to look at,” Hendrix said of the effort she saw from her team. “DeAnneisha Jackson battled as hard as she could and I thought Kat came in and did some good things for us.”
Jackson led the team in rebounds with seven while scoring five points. Senior Ashante Richard tallied six points and two assists as sophomore Maja Michalska scored four and grabbed five boards.
HPU struggled to get shots to drop and, despite hitting its first two attempts from deep, finished 5-22 from outside the arc. The team finished 24-of-69 from the floor (34 percent). Although being outrebounded 47-32, the Panthers held a 12-8 advantage in second-chance points.
The Purple and White wasted no time taking the lead as Puckett knocked down a 3-pointer from the left elbow on the first possession of the game. After forcing a turnover, Keys hit a triple from nearly the same spot to make it 6-0 Panthers after a minute of action. But the Wildcats clawed right back scoring 13 straight to take a 13-6 lead with 13:05 to play in the first half.
Davidson was able to stretch the lead out to nine at (21-12, 11:10) after three quick 3-pointers from Hannah Early. Sophomore Maja Michalska knocked down a jumper for the Panthers to pull the team back within three at 23-20 with just under seven minutes to play in the half. However, the Wildcats were able to keep HPU from getting any closer than three and took a 38-31 lead into the half thanks to a 4-of-5 performance from behind the arc while holding the Panthers to just 38 percent shooting (13-of-34).
Keys came out of the locker room with aggression by knocking down a three and making a driving layup to make it 42-36. But Early responded with another jumper as Davidson went back up by eight at 44-36 (18:00 left). The lead ballooned to 19 at 59-40 with 10:45 remaining as the Wildcats used great ball movement and hot shooting to go on a 12-0 run.
HPU pulled back within 15 (59-44, 8:40) as Keys got a steal and a score. But as they did all night, the Wildcats answered back and extended their lead to 24 at 71-47 before the final media timeout. Harris scored the last four points of the contest to reach the 76-57 final.
The Panthers will return home to the Millis Center for their next four games. The Purple and White will kick off the home stand on Sunday at 3 p.m. against the Elon Phoenix.