HU Women’s Basketball Panthers drop 2OT thriller to Wildcats, 62-60

• Junior Kaylah Keys poured in a career-high 34 points, the most by a Panther Cheyenne Parker scored 34 against Longwood on Feb. 7, 2013.
• The contest was head coach DeUnna Hedrix’s 100th at the helm for the Purple & White.
• High Point will be in Cancun, Mexico the rest of the week as it plays UAB (Nov. 26 at 4:00 p.m.) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m.) in the 2015 Cancun Challenge.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Junior Kaylah Keys racked up a career-high 34 points as the High Point University women’s basketball team fell 62-60 in double-overtime to Davidson in the Millis Center on Tuesday night.

The Panthers (1-4) posted a second-half comeback to take a late lead but couldn’t hold off the Wildcats (2-2) in regulation. Both teams scored five points in the first overtime before the visitors posted a 4-2 edge in the second extra frame to earn the 62-60 victory.

“This one stings,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said of her 100th game as the Panthers’ head coach. “I thought our kids really battled and it was the first time that they have been in that position and the way they responded was impressive. It was good to see Kaylah perform like she did because we are asking a lot of her to lead, to score and to defend.”

Keys’ 34 points came in bunches with seven in the first quarter and 17 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Southaven, Miss. native drilled seven 3-pointers on the night, which tied her career high.

Freshmen Shea Morgan and Lindsey Edwards each added eight points off the bench as the HPU reserves outscored Davidson’s 16-7. The Panthers were outrebounded 55-47 despite eight boards from senior Aariel Allen and seven rebounds apiece from Keys and freshman Emma Bockrath.

Despite seven early points from Keys, Davidson jumped out to a 12-9 lead after six and a half minutes of action. However, the Panthers got it going as Edwards sandwiched two baskets around a layup by Morgan to give HPU a 15-12 advantage at the end of the quarter.

Edwards, then, extended the lead to 16-12 with a free throw to open the scoring in the second quarter. But the offense stalled once again as the Wildcats posted a 12-0 run to finish the half and enter the break up 27-22.

Keys heated up in the third quarter scoring seven points as the Panthers outscored Davidson 9-4 to even the score at 31-all (5:22, 3rd). But the Wildcats responded and built a 43-37 edge before Keys drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the quarter at 43-40.

Davidson’s Kianna Speight opened the final frame of regulation with a 3-pointer to make it 46-40 with 9:27 to play. The Wildcats maintained that lead until Keys hit consecutive triples to give HPU its first lead of the half at 53-50 with 2:02 to play. From there, Davidson got a layup and a free throw from Dakota Dukes with 3.7 seconds left to tie the score and send the game to overtime.

Neither team could gain an edge in the first overtime as both teams scored five points with all of HPU’s coming from Keys (58-58, 0:16). The junior, then, had a chance for the last-second win but her effort was blocked by Daktoa Dukes to send that game to a second overtime.

Bockrath’s free throws at the 3:44 mark in the second overtime evened the score at 60-60, but the Panthers couldn’t score again as Davidson took the 62-60 win.

The Panthers fly to Cancun, Mexico on Wednesday to take part in the 2015 Cancun Challenge. The squad opens play on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. against UAB before taking on Georgia Tech at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.