SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team defeated USC Upstate, 87-61, Saturday, Jan. 5, to open Big South Conference play. This is the sixth-straight Big South Conference opener HPU has won.
High Point (8-4, 1-0) out-shot USC Upstate (4-8, 0-1) 43.8 percent (32-73)-37.3 percent (19-51) for the game. The Panthers logged 21 assists and grabbed 14 steals, while the Spartans had 14 assists and 13 steals. HPU forced the Spartans into 26 turnovers and scored 30 points off turnovers.
“I felt like we did a good job turning Upstate over,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Forcing 26 turnovers and converting those turnovers into points. To have 30 points off of 26 turnovers was pretty major. Just to have production from a lot of different players is going to be huge for us going into the rest of conference.
Senior Emma Bockrath led the Panthers with 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Junior Miya Bull led all players with 13 boards, six coming on the offensive end. Bull added five points and a steal for HPU.
Five Panthers scored in double-figures with senior Lindsey Edwards and junior Camryn Brown adding 15 points apiece and seniors Bria Gibson and Shea Morgan scoring 13 and 11, respectively.
The Panthers started the game with a 10-0 run, not allowing the Spartans to score until the 6:20 mark in the first quarter. HPU ended the first quarter with a 27-12 lead and took a 51-33 lead into halftime. The Purple & White out-shot USC Upstate 56.3 percent (18-32)-39.3 percent (11-28) from the field in the first half. High Point made 7 of 13 from three in the first half, while the Spartans were 4 for 9. The Panthers scored 20 points off of 14 USC Upstate turnovers in the first half.
The 51 first half points were the most points scored in a half against a division I opponent this season. This is the most points the Panthers have scored in a half since putting up 53 in the first half against Mars Hill Nov. 14, 2018.
Bockrath led the way in the opening half with 13 points, two assists, two rebounds and two steals. Junior Camryn Brown went 3-3 from 3-point range for nine points in the half. Junior Miya Bull provided a spark off the bench with six rebounds and five points for the Panthers.
High Point snagged 46 rebounds, while USC Upstate logged 31. The Panthers out-scored the Spartans in the paint (28-16), in second chance points (26-9) and in bench points (29-27).
Michaela Gibbons led the way for the Spartans with 19 points and six rebounds.
Up next, the Panthers will travel to Radford on Tuesday, Jan. 8, to continue conference play. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Radford’s campus.