HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team will be back on the road at UNC Asheville on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a Big South showdown inside Kimmel Arena.
The Panthers (10-6, 6-1) are riding a three-game winning streak after beating Campbell, Charleston Southern and Winthrop by an average of 26.3 points last week. The Bulldogs (3-12, 2-4) on the other hand, have lost six straight contests since their win over Longwood on Dec. 14.
Last Time Out:
The Purple & White got off to a slow start hitting just two of its first 18 shots on Saturday before knocking down 29 of its final 52 shots (56 percent) to earn an 81-55 win over Winthrop. Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson led the way with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting and pulled down 14 rebounds while blocking five shots. In the process, she moved over 1,000 points in her High Point career.
Senior Latrice Phelps scored 17 points while sophomore Maja Michalska posted a career-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to join Robertson in double figures. Sophomore Kaylah Keys rounded out the foursome with 12 points and a game-high six assists. Senior Ashante Richard dished out five dimes as the team tallied a season-high 22 assists on its 31 field goals.
Sophomore DeAnneisha Jackson helped the Panthers control the boards with 13 rebounds as the team outrebounded the Eagles 53-40 and earned 24 second-chance points. Jackson also posted eight points as HPU won the battle inside with 44 points in the paint. HPU held Winthrop’s talented frontcourt to just 28 points inside.
The 81 points were the second-most scored by the team this season as it shot 44 percent while holding the Eagles to just 33 percent from the floor. The Panthers made 16-of-21 (76 percent) from the free throw line as Winthrop made only 4-of-9 attempts.
UNC Asheville is coming off of a hard-fought 60-55 loss at Campbell on Saturday. The Bulldogs took a nine-point halftime lead on the strength of 45 percent shooting at the half. However, the Camels defense locked down the Asheville offense and limited it to just five made field goals in the second half as Campbell pulled out the win.
Senior Shonese Jones led the way on Saturday with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with two assists. Sophomore Chatori Major chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
The Bulldogs have a deep roster with 10 players playing more than 10 minutes per contest. The team has seven players that post more than five points per game, but only one – Jones with 10.5 ppg – averaging in double figures. Sophomore Tianna Knuckles is second on the team in scoring with 9.5 per night. Freshman Bronaza Fitzgerald is the team’s most efficient offensive player averaging 6.7 ppg while shooting 63 percent on the year. Knuckles and Jones are the team’s main deep threats as Asheville hits 3.9 3-pointers per outing and shoots just 24.6 percent fro beyond the arc.
Senior Jeannie Buckner and K.J. Weaver lead the team with 5.9 and 5.8 rebounds per game, respectively. The team is being outrebounded by 1.3 rebounds per night. Asheville is 10th in the league with a .365 shooting percentage while allowing opponents to shoot .415 from the floor.
• The Panthers have a commanding 33-11 series lead over the Bulldogs and have picked up W’s in 12 consecutive meetings, including the four contests with DeUnna Hendrix at the helm.
• Stacia Robertson had an amazing week last week averaging 22.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.3 blocks. She scored 20-plus points in all three games and shot an astounding 87 percent (27-of-31) from the floor including an 8-of-8 night at Charleston Southern.
• Stacia Robertson won her third Big South Player of the Week award for her play last week. She became the first player in HPU history to win Big South Player of the Week in consecutive weeks after winning the award of Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. This is the fifth time she has won the award breaking her tie with Cheyenne Parker and Katie O’Dell for HPU’s all-time lead.
• Kaylah Keys and Stacia Robertson form the highest-scoring tandem in the Big South. The inside-outside duo is averaging 30.8 points a game. Robertson is third in the league with 15.9 PPG while Keys is fourth with 14.9.
• Sophomore Maja Michalska has come into her own in conference play. The guard is averaging 6.3 points in 17.6 minutes per night while shooting 9-of-19 (47 percent) from outside the arc.
• Head coach DeUnna Hendrix is 49-30 (.620) and with her next win will become the program’s fifth coach to win 50 games. Tooey Loy is the fastest to reach 50 wins in the program’s Div. I era when he did so in 99 games.
• Behind forwards Stacia Robertson and DeAnneisha Jackson, HPU sits at 24th in the nation with 5.4 blocked shots a game. UConn leads the nation with 7.3/g.
• HPU will get a week between games after playing five games in 11 days since the beginning of the new year. The team will be back at home on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. when Gardner-Webb comes to the Millis Center.