• Sophomore Kaylah Keys led the way with 11 points to go along with two assists. She has now led the team in scoring in 9-of-13 games this season.
• Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson posted seven points and led HPU with eight rebounds.
• High Point will be back in the Millis Center on Monday at 7 p.m. against Campbell. The team will be vying for its 12th straight home win, which would tie for the second longest home winning streak in the program’s Division-I era.
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The High Point University women’s basketball team traveled to Liberty for a battle of unbeaten Big South foes and fell 64-47 inside the Vines Center on Saturday night.
The Panthers (7-6, 3-1) scored first, however the Flames (8-5, 4-0) went on a 20-2 run to take a lead they would never relinquish.
“You have to come to Liberty with the expectations of playing a really good basketball team and we didn’t come out with that mentality, which is uncharacteristic for our team,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said.
Sophomore Kaylah Keys led the way with 11 points to go with two assists. She has led the team in scoring in 9-of-13 games this season and has scored in double digits in 23-of-24 career Big South games. Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson posted seven points and a team-high eight rebounds while senior Latrice Phelps added seven points and five boards.
Senior Ashante Richard posted six points and led the team with three assists and three steals. Redshirt-senior Lindsay Puckett went 2-of-4 from the floor including a 3-pointer to finish with five points, while sophomore Maja Michalska added five points off of the bench.
“We get our confidence from getting defensive stops and getting out in transition and we didn’t do that tonight,” Hendrix said.
Liberty’s stingy half-court defense held HPU to 21 percent shooting from the floor while hitting on 43 percent of its shots on the other end. The Flames also won the rebounding battle 52-34 and outscored the Panthers 34-12 in the paint.
The Purple & White came out and got a defensive stop followed by a quick 3-pointer from Keys to grab the 3-0 lead 30 seconds into the game. However, Liberty went on a 20-2 run to build a 20-5 advantage with 8:50 left in the first half.
The Panthers, then, were able to get out in transition, which allowed Michalska to split a trip at the line before DeAnneisha Jackson was able to get a 3-point play to cut the deficit to 10 at 24-14 with seven minutes until halftime. Liberty then used five free throws and a 3-pointer to stretch its lead out to 18 (32-14, 2:58). Keys made sure the Panthers wouldn’t go quietly as she drilled a triple to spark a 6-0 run to finish the half with the score 32-20.
Just like in the first half, HPU opened the scoring in the second frame with a 3-pointer as Lindsay Puckett cut Liberty’s lead to nine at 32-23 with 18 minutes remaining. Nonetheless, the Flames had the answer once again and slowly built their lead out to 24 (52-28) at the nine-minute mark. From there, Liberty held on for a 64-47 win.
The Panthers will return home to host Campbell in the Millis Center on Monday at 7 p.m. HPU will get a chance to extend its 11-game home winning streak, the programs third-longest of the Division-I era.