Site: Norfolk, Va. (Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall)
Score: Norfolk State 72, High Point 58
Records: NSU: 2-2, HPU: 1-4
Next HPU Event: Sunday, Nov. 24 — at North Carolina Central (Durham, N.C.), 1 p.m.
NORFOLK, Va. – Sophomore Skyler Curran scored a career-best 22 points in High Point University women’s basketball’s 72-58 loss to Norfolk State University Wednesday night (Nov. 20). Curran also tied for the team lead in rebounds, grabbing seven along with senior Camryn Brown.
“I give a lot of credit to Norfolk State,” head coach Chelsea Banbury said after the game. “They came out ready and jumped on us early. They made plays when they needed to and played well.”
Norfolk State got the first points of the game and didn’t give up the lead the rest of the way. It was a one-point game at the media timeout in the first after freshman Amaria McNear hit her first career triple to make it 8-9. High Point was assessed an administrative technical foul coming out of the timeout for illegal jerseys, shifting the momentum of the game. The Spartans connected on both free throws, spurring a 13-1 run to finish out the quarter and build a lead that wouldn’t get below seven points the rest of the game.
The Panthers answered a bit in the second, making up five of the points after outscoring NSU 19-14 in the second quarter, trailing 36-28 after the first 20 minutes. Curran found her touch in the quarter, scoring 11 of her 12 first-half points in the second, with six coming from deep to lead HPU at halftime. The Panthers ended the half on a 10-1 run, with eight of the 10 coming from Curran. High Point shot remarkably better in the second stanza as well, shooting 46.2% to the first quarter’s 18.8%.
Curran stayed hot in after the break making two more triples for six of High Point’s 13 points in the third. HPU cut the deficit to seven with just under three minutes left in the quarter but a 5-0 run by Norfolk State countered by a triple from junior Chyna McMichel made it a nine-point game, 50-41, heading into the final quarter. McMichel played substantial minutes for the first time this season and made the most of them in the second half, scoring seven of her nine points after the break.
The Panthers weren’t able to string together a run in the fourth to mount a comeback, falling 72-58. HPU picked up its fifth foul of the quarter to send the Spartans into the bonus with 2:19 left in the game, down by eight. Norfolk State hit its free throws down the stretch to hold the lead, going 10-12 from the line after reaching the bonus. Curran added four points in the final quarter before fouling out to finish the game with a team-high 22 points, topping her old career-high of 21 from last year’s game against Greensboro College.
High Point returns to North Carolina for a game against North Carolina Central on Sunday (Nov. 24). Tip in Durham against the Eagles is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Panthers follow that with a home game on Dec. 2 against Davidson, HPU’s final home game of 2019.