• Sophomore Emma Bockrath paced the Panthers with 13 points, six boards, six assists and three steals.
• Junior Kat Harris went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc en route to a 13-point performance.
• High Point went 16-of-20 (80 percent) from the charity stripe while the Bucs converted 23 of their 30 attempts (77 percent).
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team earned a two-point lead with 5:01 remaining, but couldn’t hold on as Charleston Southern took home a 74-68 win in the Millis Center on Tuesday.
The Panthers (3-11, 1-2) trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, but battled back to gain the lead four separate times in the second half. However, each time the Bucs (7-7, 1-2) had the answer and converted their free throws down the stretch to take home the win.
“I don’t think that we came out locked in and with the right intensity,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Right now, we are just two very different teams. When we come out ready to go, then we are very good. But when we don’t come out ready, we are a bad one. All credit goes to Charleston Southern because they walk into any gym ready to compete and we need to work to match that mentality.”
As she has for the last month, sophomore Emma Bockrath led the way 13 points, six boards, six assists and three steals on the night. Meanwhile, junior Kat Harris tallied 13 points while knocking down 3-of-4 three-pointers.
Giving the Purple & White three double-digit scorers, senior Kaylah Keys racked up 11 points. Off the bench, redshirt-sophomore Kennedy Currie registered eight points and six rebounds while freshman Carol-Anne Obusek notched seven points and seven boards.
On the night, HPU earned a +2 margin (38-36) in rebounds and shot 32 percent (6-of-19) from three-point land compared to CSU’s 29 percent (5-of-17). On the other hand, the Bucs won the turnover battle 22-18 and hit 23 of their 30 free throw attempts.
Both defenses controlled the tempo early as CSU led 7-6 through the first six minutes of the contest. Over the next two minutes, though, the scoring picked up as Obusek and Currie tallied field goals, but the Bucs were able to maintain their one-point edge into the second quarter, 13-12.
The second period was a tale of two halves. Charleston Southern jumped on the Panthers with a 7-0 run to build a 22-12 advantage at the 8:28 mark. The lead reached 10 again at 24-14, 8:12, before HPU started their comeback.
Harris kicked off the run with a three-pointer at the 7:19 mark before Bockrath added a jumper and Harris converted two free throws to make it 26-21, 5:49. Despite going without a field goal for the next four minutes, HPU hit four free throws to stay within striking distance at 29-25.
Keys, then, hit a jumper before she and Harris each knocked down triples as HPU closed the half on a 9-7 spurt to make it 36-34 at the break.
Over the final 20 minutes of action, neither team led by more than six as the game was tied on eight occasions as the lead changed hands eight times.
Keys opened the second half with a three to give HPU its first lead, 37-36, early in the third. However, CSU responded immediately to regain the edge before sophomore Haleigh Hatfield canned two free throws and Bockrath scored in transition to make it 41-38, HPU, with 8:30 left in the third.
But once again the Bucs answered and High Point couldn’t take another multi-point advantage until Bockrath’s basket at the 5:01 mark in the fourth made it 66-64. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the offense couldn’t keep the momentum and scored just one more basket the rest of the way as CSU closed the game on a 10-2 run.
The Purple & White hit the road for their next two contests at UNC Asheville on Saturday and at Radford on Tuesday, Jan. 17.