High Point WBB holds off CSU in road triumph, 64-62

• Senior Kaylah Keys paced the Purple & White offense with 16 points while moving into second in Division I career games played in High Point history (122 games).
• Junior Kat Harris hit 5-of-5 from the line – including three in the final minute – en route to a 13-point performance.
• High Point built a 23-point lead midway through the third quarter, but had to hold off Charleston Southern’s late 29-9 rally to earn the win.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – After building a 23-point third-quarter lead, the High Point University women’s basketball team held off a late charge by Charleston Southern to earn a 64-62 victory in the Buc Dome on Tuesday night.

Led by senior Kaylah Keys’ 16 points, the Panthers (12-14, 10-5) jumped out to a huge third-quarter lead. However, the Bucs (14-12, 8-7) wouldn’t go quietly into the night posting a 29-9 run to pull within three with a minute to play.

However, junior Kat Harris hit all three of her free throw attempts in the final minute and sophomore Haleigh Hatfield pulled down two critical rebounds to close out the 64-62 win.

“We came out and everything was clicking offensively and we were able to knock down some three’s early,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “For whatever reason though, we had a slump for the second game in a row, but I’m proud of the way we played and that we stayed composed. It’s February and you can tell teams are really starting to fight and for us to pull out a win on the road, we’ll take it.”

Harris gave the Panthers two double-digit scorers with 13 points on the strength of 5-of-5 shooting from the charity stripe. Rounding out the starting backcourt, sophomore Emma Bockrath just missed a double-double with nine points and eight boards on the night.

Defensively, HPU held CSU to 14-of-50 (28 percent) in the first three quarters before the Bucs broke out for 26 points in the final frame. Overall, the Purple & White outshot the Bucs 37 percent (22-of-60) to 33 percent (24-of-72).

In a hard-fought, physical contest, High Point won the battle on the glass grabbing 48 boards to CSU’s 43. Like Bockrath, Hatfield finished the night with eight rebounds while sophomore Lindsey Edwards tallied six points and six boards.

Providing the leadership, Keys connected on three three-pointers and dished out a game-high four assists while appearing in her 122nd game – the second-most in HPU’s Division I era.

Joining Edwards off the High Point bench, freshman Camryn Brown racked up six points and three assists while redshirt-sophomore Kennedy Currie nabbed five boards and six points.

Ke’Asia Jackson led the Bucs scoring all of her game-best 26 points in the second half while leading the comeback attempt.

Harris ignited the offense early drilling two of HPU’s four three-pointers in the first four minutes to build a 14-6 advantage. However, CSU battled back to pull within four at 16-12 with 2:34 left in the quarter.

But High Point answered with a vengeance. Brown beat the first-quarter buzzer to spark a 21-6 run that lasted until the 3:30 mark in the second quarter and upped the lead to 37-18.

From there, the Bucs posted six of the final 10 points to enter the break trailing by 17, 41-24.

Out of halftime, the teams traded baskets for five minutes until Brown canned a trifecta and Morgan converted a layup to give HPU a 23-point edge, 52-29.

However, the Bucs wouldn’t go away mounting a 29-9 run to claw within three points with 1:00 to play. In the final minute, Harris hit all three of her free throw attempts and Hatfield pulled down two critical boards as HPU held on for the 64-62 victory.

The Purple & White return to the Palmetto State on Saturday to take on Presbyterian College in the Templeton Center at 2 p.m.