Harris’ buzzer-beater lifts HPU WBB over Radford, 56-54

• Sophomore Kat Harris converted a driving layup with 0.5 seconds on the clock to give HPU a 56-54 victory.
• Freshmen Emma Bockrath and Shea Morgan combined for 30 points including 18 of the team’s final 26 points.
• High Point is now tied with Radford for fifth in the Big South with identical 6-4 records, but the Panthers have the season sweep.

RADFORD, Va. – Sophomore Kat Harris drove into the lane and banked in a layup with 0.4 seconds on the clock to give the High Point University women’s basketball team a 56-54 triumph at Radford on Tuesday night.

Box Score PDF

The Panthers (7-12, 6-4) led by as many as six in the final minutes behind stellar play from freshmen Emma Bockrath and Shea Morgan. However, Aisha Foy drilled two three-pointers in the final 90 seconds to even the score for the Highlanders (10-9, 6-4). Harris had the answer though, as the Purple & White took possession with 9.1 seconds before the guard hit the game-winner.

“We’ve been in a lot of tight games this season that haven’t gone our way so it’s nice to be on the other end tonight,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “If Kat puts her head down to get to the rim it’s hard to stop her and she did exactly what we wanted. Shea and Emma are coming along. They are steady and consistent and I’m proud of the way they have developed.”

Former AAU teammates, Bockrath and Morgan carried the load for the Panthers late in the game scoring 18 of the squad’s final 26 points. Bockrath led the team with 17 points to go with six rebounds and five assists. Meanwhile, Morgan posted a career-high 13 points and six rebounds on 6-7 shooting

Harris controlled the point for HPU tallying 12 points, three assists and three steals in the team’s third straight road victory.

The Highlanders won the battle on the boards 37-31, but were forced into 15 turnovers by the aggressive Panthers’ defense. At the charity stripe, the Purple & White hit 4-of-4 while the Highlanders converted just 4-of-12 opportunities.

Harris opened the scoring with a pair of free throws before a transition trifecta from Hatfield gave HPU a 7-4 advantage (7:22). But the home team fought back and finished the quarter on a 10-2 run to lead 14-9 after the first quarter.

The Panthers turned up the pressure holding Radford scoreless for first six minutes of the second frame while mounting an 11-0 run (20-14, 3:50). The Highlanders snapped the run with a layup at the 3:45 mark, but junior Kaylah Keys quickly answered with a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 23-16. From there, HPU was able to maintain at least a four-point advantage until the break (25-20).

Out of halftime, Bockrath connected on her second three-pointer of the night as HPU took its biggest lead of the contest (28-20). However, the home team responded an 11-4 run to pull back within one point at 32-31 with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

From there, Bockrath and Morgan combined for the next 14 points as the Panthers took a 48-42 lead midway through the final quarter. Radford then hit its first three-pointer before adding a layup to cut the deficit to one (52-51, 0:35). But Morgan answered with an elbow jumper that upped her career-high to 13 points and gave HPU a three-point edge (54-51, 0:16).

Foy knotted the score at 54-all with a long-range three-pointer. But Harris took the ball strong to the hole and hit a layup to send HPU home winners.

The Purple & White continue their Virginia road trip taking on Liberty at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Vines Center.