HPU WBB Panthers hold on for 66-61 win over American

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team defeated American 66-61 Thursday night (Dec. 20) in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (6-4) out-rebounded the Eagles (4-6) 37-34. HPU logged 17 assists to the Eagles’ 12. The Purple & White grabbed 12 steals, while American had six.

“That was a good game,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “American is a very good team. Preparing for them we knew we’d have our hands full before break. I felt like our kids were poised, composed and really focused on the game plan, even through the ups and downs. We’re pretty veteran so we looked like a veteran team tonight.”

Senior Emma Bockrath led the Panthers as she tied her season-high with 22 points. Bockrath added eight rebounds, five steals and two assists. Senior Shea Morgan was the leader on the boards with a game and season-high 10 rebounds. Morgan logged her first double-double of the season as she added 10 points. Junior Camryn Brown dished out a game-high five assists and pitched in 14 points for the Panthers.

American cut the Panthers’ lead to one at 60-59 with 47 seconds left in the game, but senior Lindsey Edwards knocked down two free throws to put HPU up three. The Eagles came down and missed a three. Morgan grabbed her 10th rebound on the miss and hit two free throws of her own to stretch the lead to 64-59. Indeya Sanders hit a layup for Eagles to cut the score to 64-61 before Brown rounded out the scoring for High Point with two more free throws and gave the Purple & White a 66-61 lead.

The teams were nearly even after one quarter with HPU taking a 15-14 lead. They traded baskets to open the second quarter before High Point went on a 9-0 run over a 4:10 span. The Panthers went into halftime with a 33-22 lead after holding American to eight points in the second quarter.

“It’s always tough to get a win right before break because there is so much going on,” Hendrix said. “People want to get home to families and the Christmas holidays and all that. To beat a team like American it does a lot for our confidence. We get to sit on it for five days so that’s even better. Going into East Tennessee State on the road is going to be tough. I think this game has showed us that we are a composed team, that we are poised. We’ve started to figure some things out. It’s going to do a lot for our confidence.”

The teams were nearly even shooting with American taking a slight edge in field goal percentage at 45.5 percent (25-55) compared to High Points’ 41.0 percent (25-61). HPU topped the Eagles in 3-point shooting going 7-18 (38.9 percent) from behind the arc, while American shot 5-20 (25.0 percent).

HPU out-scored American in fast break points (8-4) and bench points (7-2), while the Eagles took a slight edge in points in the paint (30-24), points off turnovers (18-13) and second chance points (10-9).

Indeya Sanders led the Eagles with 22 points, while Cecily Carl pulled down nine rebounds.

Up next, the Panthers will travel to Johnson City, Tenn. to take on East Tennessee State (ETSU) on Saturday, Dec. 29. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. on ETSU’s campus.