Bockrath leads HPU WBB Panthers past Runnin¹ Bulldogs, 71-69

• Sophomore Emma Bockrath racked up a season-high 24 points while hitting 8-of-13 attempts and pulling down six rebounds.
• Senior Kaylah Keys and sophomore Shea Morgan each tallied a dozen points in the contest.
• High Point assisted on 20 of its 27 made field goals while earning a 40-36 edge on the boards.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Sophomore Emma Bockrath registered as season-best 24 points to guide the High Point University women’s basketball team to a dramatic 71-69 triumph over Gardner-Webb on Saturday in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (5-12, 3-3) built double-digit leads in each half, but had to hold off the hard-charging Runnin’ Bulldogs (8-9, 3-3) in both halves to come out with the victory.

Midway through the final period a jumper by sophomore Shea Morgan gave HPU a 66-55 edge. However, GWU wouldn’t go quietly scoring the game’s next 12 points to lead 67-66 with 1:05 to play.

Bockrath, though, answered with a pair of free throws to make it 68-67 before the Runnin’ Bulldogs responded to regain the lead with 30 seconds to play. Sophomore Lindsey Edwards, then, converted a driving layup with 15 seconds on the clock and Bockrath rebounded a GWU miss and split her trip to the line to give HPU a 71-69 win.

“I’m really proud of our kids and I think today showed that we are really starting to come together,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Gardner-Webb went on a couple runs and I think our team earlier in the year may have laid down, but today we showed our character and fought back to close out the win.”

Not only did Bockrath pace the Purple & White with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but the Dayton, Ohio product also tallied six rebounds and four assists in 40- minutes.

Joining the guard in double figures, Morgan and senior Kaylah Keys each added 12 points in the winning effort. The dozen points were a season-high for Morgan as that trio combined for 31 of the team’s 33 first-half points as HPU led 33-30 at the break.

In the second half, freshman Camryn Brown stepped up with two key three-pointers while sophomore Lindsey Edwards tallied six of her eight points after the break.

During the contest, High Point was able to control the glass earning a +4 margin (40-36) behind 10 rebounds from sophomore Haleigh Hatfield.

The hot-shooting Panthers hit shot 48 percent (27-56) including 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. On the other end, HPU limited Gardner-Webb to a 36 percent performance.

High Point’s solid shooting effort was in large part due to its 20 assists as Bockrath, Keys and Hatfield dished out four apiece.

A hot start allowed the Panthers jumped out to a 24-17 lead after the first quarter. From there, the lead swelled to 30-19 midway through the second quarter as Bockrath tallied 17 first-half points. However, the Runnin’ Bulldogs answered with an 11-3 run to pull within three, 33-30, at halftime.

After the break, GWU regained a three-point advantage, 45-42, with 4:37 to go in the third. Then, the teams traded three-pointers before back-to-back baskets from Morgan and Edwards gave HPU a 49-48 edge.

From there, a three-pointer from Brown and two free throws by Hatfield allowed the Panthers to take a 54-50 edge into the final period.

Six different players scored for High Point during its 12-5 run to start the fourth quarter as it built a 66-55 advantage.

However, the Runnin’ Bulldogs clawed back into the lead, but Edwards’ key basket and Bockrath’a game-sealing rebound allowed HPU to survive, 71-69.

The Panthers hit the road again on Tuesday for a showdown with Big South rival Campbell at 7 p.m. in Gore Arena.