HPU WBB Hoops Travels To Gardner-Webb On Tuesday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point women’s basketball team will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. to take on Gardner-Webb on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The Panthers (16-11, 12-6) are coming off a 57-54 win over UNC Asheville on Feb. 17 and are a game back of Radford for second place in the conference standings. Meanwhile, the Runnin’ Bulldogs (13-15, 9-10) are in a battle with Presbyterian for the No. 6 seed in the Big South Tournament.

Last Time Out:

The Purple & White got four free throws from senior Ashante Richard in the final 30 seconds to seal a 57-54 victory over UNC Asheville on Tuesday, Feb. 17 in the Millis Center.

HPU trailed by one at the half before storming back to build a 12-point lead midway through the second frame. However, four second-half triples from Shonese Jones gave the Bulldogs a 54-53 lead with 2:12 to play. The Panthers’ defense didn’t allow Asheville to score another point and Richard went 4-of-4 from the line late to pull out the victory.

Sophomore Kaylah Keys led HPU with 14 points while the senior class combined for 67 percent (36-of-57) of the team’s scoring output.

Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson posted her 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Latrice Phelps added 12 points and redshirt-senior Lindsay Puckett had nine points and a season-high eight rebounds.

Richard hit the game-winning free throws to finish with five points and also tallied five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 36 minutes.

The HPU defense forced 14 turnovers, including 11 steals, and converted those extra possessions into 22 points on the other end. The Panthers won the rebounding battle by a +1 (40-39) margin. Both teams shot 35 percent from the floor, however, HPU hit 14-of-19 (74 percent) from the line to produce the win.

The Opponent:
Like HPU, the Runnin’ Bulldogs are coming off a win over UNC Asheville with a 66-58 victory in Asheville, N.C. on Saturday. Junior Candace Brown led GWU with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists.

Junior Olivia Parker is the squad’s top scorer and rebounder posting 13.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per outing. The forward is also an outside threat, hitting 35 percent of her 3-point attempts. Senior forward Jessica Hellig is adding 11.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

Brown does a little bit of everything for GWU. The wing averages 9.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. Senior Mayhana Dunovant is fourth in the Big South in assists (3.5/g) and is the team’s best long-range shooter hitting 36.4 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.

GWU is winning the possession battle this season. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are controlling the boards with a +3.2 rebounding margin and is also carrying a +0.79 turnover margin.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 6-2 in their last eight games. The team’s only losses in that stretch have come to league-leading Liberty and Campbell. Tuesday’s game will be the last chance for GWU to catch Presbyterian for the No. 6 seed in next week’s Big South Conference Tournament.

Panther Notes:

• The Panthers have a 15-10 advantage in the all-time series with the Bulldogs and have won six of the last seven meetings.

• The first meeting between HPU and GWU was tied at the half, but a 20-point second half from sophomore Kaylah Keys sparked the Panthers to a 72-57 win.

• Redshirt-senior Stacia Robertson is averaging 15.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, 2.4 steals and 2.7 assists per contest.

• The Grand Island, Neb. native has scored in double figures in 14 straight games and has seven of her 12 double-doubles in that span.

• Senior Latrice Phelps is averaging 11.9 points and is shooting 49 percent from the floor in the last seven contests.

• Redshirt-senior Lindsay Puckett is also heating up with 12.0 points and 5.0 boards in the last six games while connecting on 13-of-40 (33 percent) 3-point attempts.

• The offense is shooting at a record clip this year (41.6 percent). The Panthers lead the Big South and are on pace to best the program record of 41.3 set during the 2010-11 season. Gardner-Webb is seventh in the league, allowing opponents to shoot 38.2 percent overall.

• The Purple & White is 15-3 when at least three players reach double figures in scoring. The win over Gardner-Webb was the only time this season the team won with two-or-fewer players scoring 10-plus points.

• The Panthers are in a three-way tie for third place in the league standings with Campbell and Winthrop. The three are all one game behind Radford for second place.

Next Up:
The Panthers will wrap up the regular season on Feb. 28 at home against Radford. The team will honor its senior class of Lindsay Puckett, Latrice Phelps, Ashante Richard, Katie Vincent and Stacia Robertson.