Big Second Half Propels HPU WBB Panthers to Win at Gardner-Webb, 78-61

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team defeated Gardner-Webb, 78-61, Saturday (Jan. 12) in Boiling Springs, N.C.

High Point (9-5, 3-1) out-rebounded Gardner-Webb (8-6, 2-1) 43-27. HPU posted a season-high 53.2 percent (33-62) from the field and held GWU to 32.8 percent (19-58) shooting. The Panthers also dished out 19 assists and grabbed 11 steals, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs had 12 assists and 10 steals.

“I felt like we located shooters until the last two minutes pretty consistently,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “We took away what they wanted to do offensively. I felt like for the majority of the night we did a pretty decent job of shutting down shooters. Today we knew we could go inside out. For Shea [Morgan] to hook Bria [Gibson] up like she did was pretty unstoppable tonight.”

Senior Shea Morgan led the Panthers with a season-high 17 points and a career-high eight assists. Morgan also tied her season-high with three steals and recorded five rebounds. Senior Bria Gibson tied her career-high with 14 points and added eight rebounds. Junior Camryn Brown pitched in 15 points, three assists and three steals, while senior Emma Bockrath logged 15 points, two assists and two steals.

The Panthers led 39-38 before going on 13-0 run lasting nearly five minutes in the third quarter. HPU out-scored GWU 19-5 in the third in total. The Purple & White took a 52-40 lead into the fourth and never looked back. The Purple & White finished the game out-scoring Gardner-Webb 45-26 in the second half.

The first half was nearly even with neither team taking more than a five-point lead. HPU took a slight edge in shooting at 39.4 percent-35.5 percent, rebounds at 22-18 and assists at eight-six, but GWU had a 35-33 lead going into halftime. Gibson led the Panthers with 10 points and six assists in the first half.

High Point out-scored Gardner-Webb in the paint 42-18, while also taking a 25-14 advantage in points off turnovers. The Panthers added 13 second chance points and eight on the fast break, while GWU had four second chance and five fast break points.

Up next, the Panthers will travel to play UNC Asheville on Saturday, Jan. 19. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. on UNC Asheville’s campus.