Site: Farmville, Va. (Willett Hall)
Score: High Point 76, Longwood 69
Records: HPU: 6-10 (4-3 Big South), LU: 8-8, (4-3 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Tuesday, Jan. 21 — vs. Presbyterian (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.) 7 p.m.
FARMVILLE, Va. – Four Panthers scored in double digits for the second-straight game as the High Point University women’s basketball team took down Longwood University 76-69 Saturday afternoon (Jan. 18). Sophomore Skyler Curran led the way with 24 points to win the battle of the Big South’s top-two scorers, while redshirt sophomore Zaria Wright, and redshirt freshman Jenson Edwards each poured in career-highs.
Today was a great team win,” head coach Chelsea Banbury said. “We had four players in double figures so it’s nice to see the scoring spread out. Longwood did a good job, they threw us off on offense with their zone and got us out of a rhythm a bit but we made plays down the stretch. We got to the rim and got to the foul line and fortunately it was enough for the win.”
The threes were falling early, with High Point’s first six points coming off triples from senior Camryn Brown and Curran. The Panthers went on a 12-4 run with the score tied at 8-8 to take a 20-12 lead, with eight of the 12 points coming from Curran. Longwood closed out the quarter with seven of the last nine to cut High Point’s lead to just three, 22-19, after one.
Longwood’s aggressive defense caused problems for the Panthers early in the second, allowing the Lancers to knot things up at 25 apiece. Curran’s fourth triple of the day gave the Purple and White the lead once again Wright added four points late in the half that proved to be the difference in the first 20 minutes as HPU took a 34-30 lead into the break.
After a single Longwood free throw to start the half, the teams matched each other shot for shot until the Lancers took the lead on a six-point run. High Point took it back with a layup from Edwards and the lead flip-flopped until Curran and Wright each connected from downtown in the last minute to give HPU a three-point lead, 51-48, heading into the final quarter.
The Panthers pushed the lead to seven thanks to triples from Curran and Brown on consecutive possessions, with Curran’s being her sixth of the day to match her personal best. The Lancers fought back to cut the lead to three before Wright connected from deep to make it a six-point game again. Longwood threatened again, cutting HPU’s lead to one before Wright came through with another triple, her career-best fourth of the day, to push the lead back up to four points.
Longwood eventually tied the game up and took the lead but High Point answered, going on an 8-2 run to take a four-point lead with just under a minute remaining in the game. Edwards and Wright played key roles on the run, with Edwards converting on an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Panthers the lead, followed by Wright hitting a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game.
High Point’s defense held on the ensuing Longwood possession, forcing the Lancers to foul. HPU made good on its chances, with Brown making three and Wright two to hold Longwood off and get the victory. Wright’s two free throws gave her 20 points on the night, the first time she’s reached the 20-point threshold. The win pulls the Panthers level with the Lancers in the Big South standings in a four-way tie for fourth place.
The Panthers are back in action on Tuesday (Jan. 21) when Presbyterian College comes to the Millis Center for a 7 p.m. tip. HPU then heads back on the road for two more, traveling to Hampton next Saturday (Jan. 25) and then to Gardner-Webb on Jan. 28.