• Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson had a virtuoso performance with 24 points, six rebounds, five blocks, four steals and four assists while shooting 8-of-8 from the floor.
• The senior class combined for 53 of the Panthers’ 77 points as Latrice Phelps added 11 and Lindsay Puckett posted 10. Ashante Richard rounded out the senior class’ outing with eight points.
• The Panthers will return home on Saturday to take on Winthrop at 2 p.m. in a battle of two one-loss Big South teams.
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The High Point university women’s basketball team used a huge performance from redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson to take a 77-44 win over Charleston Southern in the Buc Dome on Thursday.
The Buccaneers (3-10, 0-5) came out of the halftime break and cut HPU’s lead to 10 points, but then Robertson went on a tear to help the Panthers (9-6, 5-1) build their lead and pull away for the win.
“It’s really incredible to see her take over,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “I can’t even describe the level at which she played tonight when she was getting blocks, steals and assists. I don’t know how to stop her.”
Robertson had a solid first half with nine points, three rebounds and a steal, but exploded in the second half. The forward posted 15 points, three rebounds, five blocks and three steals after the break. All in all, Robertson posted 24 points, six rebounds, five blocks, four steals and four assists while going 8-of-8 from the floor.
The rest of the senior class followed Robertson’s lead as senior Latrice Phelps just missed a double-double, chipping in with 11 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, redshirt-senior Lindsay Puckett tallied 10 points and senior Ashante Richard ran the team with five assists and eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. The four senior starters combined for 53 of the team’s 77 points. Sophomores Kaylah Keys and Maja Michalska each registered seven points in the game.
“I’m proud of our team,” Hendrix said. “We are just focused on us right now and making sure we play forty minutes and stay focused the whole time.”
The Panthers shot 32-of-61 (52.5 percent), held CSU to just 13-of-51 (25.5 percent) and forced 20 turnovers including 13 steals. The team also outrebounded the Bucs 47-34 and tallied a 42-14 advantage in points in the paint.
HPU scored the first five points of the game as it held CSU without a field goal for the first three minutes of the game. The Bucs scored on their next three possessions to knot the score at 7-7 at the 16-minute mark. Michalska then came off the bench and drilled a 3-pointer from the wing to put the Panthers back on top (10-7, 15:30). The Purple & White used the momentum of Michalska’s triple to go on a 16-2 run over the next nine minutes before CSU could score another field goal (23-11, 7:18). The Panthers extended their lead out to 17 (29-12) when DeAnneisha Jackson scored off of an assist from Richard with 5:02 left before the break. However, the Bucs won the final five minutes 8-2 and trailed HPU 31-20 at halftime.
The beginning of the second half was all about Robertson. She opened the second half with back-to-back baskets sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Alecia Hardy on the other end to make it 35-23 with 19 minutes left. The Nebraska native continued her dominance by finishing a 3-point play before earning a block and a steal in one possession on the defensive end. On the following offensive possession, Robertson scored then earned another steal before assisting Richard on a layup (42-24, 16:21). The basket by Richard ended Robertson’s streak of scoring nine straight points.
With the Bucs’ defense focusing on Robertson, the rest of the HPU offense found its groove as the team stretched its lead out to 26 after a 3-pointer from Puckett (57-31, 11:42). The lead just swelled from there, as the Panthers were able to close out the Bucs and earn a 77-44 win.
The Panthers will be back home on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they take on Winthrop inside the Millis Center. The game will be part of a double-header as the HPU men’s basketball team will play Campbell at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.