Hatfield shoots HPU WBB to a 74-67 win at Winthrop

• Freshman Haleigh Hatfield scored 11 straight points in the fourth quarter as a part of her career-best outing (20 points).
• Senior Aariel Allen tallied seven points and seven rebounds in the victory.
• High Point used a highly efficient attack (71.4 percent shooting) to post a 23-16 edge in the third quarter to erase a halftime deficit.

ROCK HILL, S.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team used a late run to pull away from Winthrop for a 74-67 victory on Tuesday in Rock Hill, S.C.

Freshman Haleigh Hatfield scored 11 straight points in an 11-4 fourth-quarter run to lead the Panthers (6-11, 5-3) to its third straight win. Meanwhile, the Eagles fell to 2-16 overall and 1-7 in conference play.

“It wasn’t pretty, but at this point in the season any win is important,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “The offense was good. Everybody contributed and we were able to run and get easy looks, but the defensive part of things still needs to improve.”

Hatfield hit 4-of-7 from beyond the arc en route to a career-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds. Freshman Lindsey Edwards (12 points) and sophomore Kat Harris (11 points) joined Hatfield in double-figures.

At the point, junior Kaylah Keys scored nine points and dished out four assists while senior Aariel Allen recorded seven points and seven rebounds down low. Likewise, the reigning Big South Freshman on the Week, Emma Bockrath continued her strong play with nine points, four rebounds and three assists.

The Panthers hit a season-best 52.8 percent from the field (28-of-53) including hitting 71.4 percent of their shots in the third period. The Purple & White and Eagles both finished with 36 rebounds. On the defensive end, HPU only forced five turnovers, but limited the Eagles to 38.6 percent shooting from the floor.

Hatfield scored five quick points as the Panthers took a 7-6 lead at the first media timeout with 4:39 on the clock. But the Eagles held the Panthers to just five more points and took a 14-12 advantage into the second frame.

Winthrop continued to control the tempo early in the second quarter and built a 21-17 edge despite five quick points from Harris. Both teams heated up on the offensive end as High Point pulled within one point on a 3-pointer from Bockrath (27-26, 3:21). However, the Eagles were able to maintain a 35-31 lead at the break.

Winthrop scored the first basket out of the break before Keys posted five points and an assist to give HPU a 38-37 edge with seven minutes on the clock. However, consecutive three-pointers from the Eagles put the home team back on top (43-38, 5:20).

This time it was Allen who had the answer for the Panthers as she sparked a 9-3 run to give HPU a 49-46 advantage with two minutes left in the third. Harris, then, took over scoring the next five including a strong and-one drive to make it 54-51 after three periods.

Once again, Winthrop scored first in the final quarter to knot the score at 54-all. Three minutes later, the Eagles moved back into the lead with a free throw (57-56, 6:40). However, Hatfield scored the next 11 points for HPU – including three three-pointers – to put the Panthers up 64-59 with 4:15 to go.

From there, the Panthers held on for a 74-67 triumph to extend its season-best three-game winning streak.

The Purple & White return home on Saturday to play host to conference-leading UNC Asheville at 2:00 p.m. in the Millis Center.