High Point women’s basketball falls at UNC Asheville, 85-64

• Sophomore Kat Harris led the Panthers with 20 points on 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
• Junior Kaylah Keys scored nine points while pulling down a career-high nine rebounds.
• High Point – the No. 6 seed – will take on No. 11-seeded Winthrop in the first round of the Big South Tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Asheville, N.C.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team fell 85-64 in its regular season finale at UNC Asheville on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Kat Harris drilled a three-pointer with 51 seconds left in the third quarter to pull the Panthers (11-18, 10-10) within one point (57-56). But the Bulldogs (23-6, 15-5) finished the contest on a 28-8 run to pull away for the win.

“We need to be able to put 40 minutes together,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Kudos to Asheville, they simply outworked us when the game was close going into the fourth quarter. We have an opportunity to refocus going into the tournament next week. A fresh start and a new season for us starts on Thursday.”

Harris led the Purple & White with 20 points on 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Her backcourt mate junior Kaylah Keys chipped in with nine points and a career-high nine rebounds.

On the wing, freshman Emma Bockrath provided a second double-digit scorer with 12 points and two steals. Off the bench, freshmen Lindsey Edwards added nine points while redshirt-freshman Kennedy Currie posted eight points.

The Purple & White hit 46 percent (12-26) of their shots in the first half, but was limited to 39 percent (13-33) in the second half. On the other end, the Bulldogs hit 30-62 (48 percent) from the floor and went 18-20 from the charity stripe.

The Bulldogs earned a +8 margin on the glass despite six boards from freshman Haleigh Hatfield.

UNCA scored the first seven points of the game before High Point finished the opening quarter on a 17-7 run (17-14). Six different Panthers scored in the run led by Bockrath’s six points.

The teams went back and forth as Edwards hit a jumper with five minutes remaining in the second quarter to give HPU a 26-25 edge. From there, the Bulldogs opened up a nine-point lead at the break closing the half on a 14-4 run (39-30).

The Purple & White wouldn’t go away and knotted the score on a fastbreak layup from Keys with 4:28 left in the third (47-47). Currie then put the Panthers on top seconds later (49-47, 4:21).

Neither team could build a lead larger than four for the rest of the period as UNCA went into the final quarter clinging to a 59-56 advantage.

However, the Panthers couldn’t get the offense going shooting 3-13 in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs were able to capitalize on the other end outscoring HPU 26-8 in the final 15 minutes.