Site: Durham, N.C. (McDougald-McLendon Arena)
Score: High Point 78, North Carolina Central 58
Records: HPU: 2-4, NCCU: 1-3
Next HPU Event: Monday, Dec. 2 – vs. Davidson (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.
DURHAM, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team picked up its second win of the season and first away from home with a 78-58 win over North Carolina Central University on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 24). Sophomore Skyler Curran scored a career-high in points for the second straight game, dropping 31 against the Eagles, and senior Camryn Brown notched her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.
“I really liked our effort today on both ends of the court,” head coach Chelsea Banbury said after the win. “We were able to make up for some mistakes by playing hard. Skyler did a good job attacking for us and Camryn did an excellent job of taking care of the ball and finding her open teammates.”
High Point scored the game’s first basket 13 seconds into the game and never lost the lead. Curran had the first two points with a layup and followed it up with a pair of triples before the media timeout. Threes from freshman Callie Scheier and redshirt sophomore Danielle Deoul pushed the lead to 12 and a fastbreak jumper from Curran made it a 16-2 game.
Scheier made her first collegiate start in the contest and scored in double digits for the second time this year, finishing the game with 13 points. She also picked up the first block of her career, getting a hand on a three-point attempt in the second quarter.
N.C. Central was able to cut the lead to 10 in the first but another three from Curran and a pair of free throws from senior Olivia VanSlooten gave the Panthers their largest lead of the quarter at 16, 25-9. The hosts were able to get one of those points back by the end of the first 10 minutes, with HPU taking a 27-12 lead into the second quarter.
The Panthers had one of their best quarters of shooting to open the game, shooting 8-14 from the floor for 57.1%. Five of the nine triples HPU took in the first went in, giving the Purple and White a mark of 55.6% from behind the arc. Curran wasted no time continuing her presence from Wednesday night’s game, accounting for almost half of the Panthers’ 27 first-quarter points, scoring 13 to start the game.
High Point’s offense struggled a bit in the second quarter, scoring a game-low 15 points in the quarter and shooting just 30.0%. NCCU scored five straight to start the quarter before triples on back-to-back possessions from Curran and Scheier and a jumper from redshirt sophomore Courtney Meadows gave the Panthers their largest lead of the half at 18, 35-17.
The Eagles fought back to cut the Panther lead to 10 twice in the second half of the quarter, but High Point entered half time up 13 after Brown picked up her first points of the night on a triple with a minute left on the clock. Miya Bull made her presence known inside during the second, grabbing eight rebounds in the quarter to finish the half with a total of 12, four coming off the offensive glass. The senior added on two more after the break to end with 14, tying her career-high she set in HPU’s win vs. East Tennessee State.
The second half started a bit slow, with neither team scoring for almost three minutes before N.C. Central made a jumper in the paint and then a free throw half a minute later to cut the lead to 10 once again. High Point only attempted a total of 12 field goals in the quarter and saw its lead slip to as few as six points when the Eagles made a jumper with 1:58 left in the quarter.
High Point answered with an 11-2 run to close out the quarter, with half of HPU’s six makes in the quarter coming in the last two minutes. Curran hit another triple with just over a minute showing on the clock to get the lead back up to double-digits and followed it up with a pair of free throws to give the Panthers a 13-point lead with time winding down. The Purple and White ended the quarter up 15, 61-46, after Scheier missed a shot with four seconds left but got her own rebound and used her left hand to roll the ball in as time expired in the quarter.
The Panthers only attempted one more shot in the fourth quarter than they did in the third, but saw their lead grow to as much as 22 thanks to the defense holding N.C. Central to shooting just 25.0% from the floor in the fourth. Brown found Scheier for a triple with 5:52 left in the game for her 10th assist of the night to secure the double-double.
Curran entered the fourth quarter with five makes from downtown, matching her career-best from a year ago. She dialed up one final triple with 10 seconds left on the clock to set a new career-high of six makes and become High Point’s first 30-point scorer since February of last season. Her shot pushed the lead to 20 points, where it stayed for the last 10 seconds, giving HPU the 78-58 victory on the road.
In addition to Scheier making her first start, so did junior transfer Chyna McMichel, finishing the game with four rebounds and two assists on a career-high 15 minutes. VanSlooten also had a first in the game, with her two free throws being the first points of the season for the senior.
High Point has a week off before returning home on Monday, Dec. 2 to host Davidson at 7 p.m. for faculty and staff appreciation night. Fans can snag a three-point shirt and the first 300 fans will receive a free donut from Duck Donuts.