Keys lifts HPU women’s basketball to 70-64 overtime win at Presbyterian

• Senior Kaylah Keys scored nine of her game-best 22 points in the extra period to lead HPU to the victory.
• The Panthers dominated the glass pulling down a +28 (53-25) edge behind 12 boards from sophomore Shea Morgan and 10 more from sophomore Haleigh Hatfield.
• The victory was High Point’s first in the Templeton Center since 2012 and gives Keys at least one victory in each Big South arena in her career.

CLINTON, S.C. – Senior Kaylah Keys tallied nine of her game-high 22 points in the overtime period to guide the High Point University women’s basketball team to a 72-64 victory at Presbyterian.

The Panthers (13-14, 11-5) trailed by nine at the half, but battled back to take a 48-44 edge on a three-pointer by sophomore Emma Bockrath with five minutes left in regulation.

However, the Blue Hose (10-17, 8-8) regained a 56-54 lead with 1:49 to play. Keys, then, evened the score with a jumper at the 1:23 mark. After neither team scored in the final 83 seconds, the game moved to overtime.

In the extra frame, sophomore Lindsey Edwards opened the scoring before PC immediately tied the game back up at 58-58. Keys took it from there.

The Memphis, Tenn. native hit a three-pointer with 4:01 to play and then canned six free throws in the final minute to secure her first career win at PC – HPU’s first in the Templeton Center since 2012.

“It’s truly exhilarating to see this team mature and come together despite all of the adversity we’ve faced,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Our demeanor going into overtime was of poise and confidence. To say that I am proud is an understatement. The credit goes to Kaylah Keys for leading and keeping us together today for 45 minutes.”

Keys finished the contest with 22 points and four assists going 6-of-15 from the floor. Bockrath and Edwards each finished with 12 points with Edwards scoring eight of her points before the break and Bockrath tallying eight after halftime.

In the paint, sophomores Shea Morgan (12 boards) and Haleigh Hatfield (10 rebounds) combined for 22 boards as the Panthers outrebounded the Blue Hose by an astounding 53-25.

Meanwhile, Morgan and junior Kat Harris each chipped in with nine points apiece while Hatfield tallied six.

The Purple & White shot 25-of-64 (39.1 percent) while PC posted a 21-of-55 (38.2 percent) shooting night. The Blue Hose kept it close thanks to hitting 12-of-29 three pointers compared to HPU’s 7-of-18 performance.

In the first quarter, seven different Panthers tallied buckets and the defense held PC without a field goal over the final 4:16 to build an 18-8 advantage.

However, the offense slowed as the Blue Hose posted a 28-9 advantage in the second quarter to take a 36-27 lead at the half.

In the third period, Keys and Harris combined to score 12 of HPU’s 16 points in the frame. Meanwhile, the High Point defense limited PC to just six points in the quarter to regain the lead, 43-42.

Bockrath’s three-pointer midway through the frame gave HPU a four-point advantage at 48-44 – the largest either team would build in the period. However, the Blue Hose answered with a 7-0 run to take a 51-48 lead with 3:29 to go.

Bockrath answered with another trifecta to even the score at 51-all with 3:09 left in regulation. Hatfield answered a PC layup with a three at the 2:06 mark and after a Blue Hose three-pointer; Keys hit a jumper to round out the scoring in regulation.

From there, Keys tallied her critical nine overtime points as the Purple & White won the extra period 16-8.

The Panthers return home to host Longwood on Monday at 7 p.m. before playing their Senior Day contest against Radford on Saturday at 2 p.m.