HPU Women’s Hoops Falls 69-39 To VCU

• Junior Kaylah Keys led the Purple & White with 14 points and four rebounds in the contest.
• Freshman Haleigh Hatfield scored eight of the team’s first 13 points in the first quarter.
• High Point wraps up non-conference play at Elon on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team dropped its non-conference home finale 69-39 to VCU on Wednesday night in the Millis Center.

Freshman Haleigh Hatfield came out hot scoring eight early points as the Panthers (3-7) took a 13-11 lead at the 1:20 mark of the first quarter.However, the Rams (8-2) finished the half on a 23-9 run to build a 34-20 halftime lead en route to the victory.

“We didn’t play like a very composed basketball team,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “VCU is a very good team and they pressed us and we didn’t respond. They are very good defensively, but we weren’t attacking and running our offense and I don’t think we had the mentality that we needed to have. We’re going to get back to work on our chemistry and unity and become a tougher team.”

Junior Kaylah Keys led the Panthers in scoring with 14 points to go along with four steals and three assists. Meanwhile, Hatfield finished with eight points and four boards as sophomore Kat Harris pulled down seven rebounds and dished out five assists on the night.

The visitors earned a 41-33 edge in rebounds and a 27-10 advantage in points off turnovers thanks to their aggressive defense.

After the Rams scored on their first possession, Hatfield answered with a three-pointer to make it 3-2 (8:38). The forward added five more points over the next six minutes as HPU took a 13-11 advantage. However, the Rams bounced back scoring seven of the final nine points of the quarter to build an 18-15 lead after one.

In the second quarter, VCU trapping press made things difficult for the Panthers who scored just five points in the frame as the Rams built a 34-20 halftime edge.

From there, the lead swelled to 45-22 before Keys notched eight points in two minutes to make it 47-30 (2:52, third). But the Panthers couldn’t get any closer as the Rams pulled away for the 69-39 win.

The Panthers will conclude their non-conference slate on Saturday when they travel to Elon for a 3:30 p.m. contest.