Site: Clinton, S.C. (Templeton Center)
Score: High Point 79, Presbyterian 71
Records: HPU 13-13 (11-6 Big South), PC 10-17 (6-12)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, Feb. 29 — vs. Longwood (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 2 p.m.
CLINTON, S.C. – Senior Camryn Brown notched her second straight game scoring 20 points, her fourth such game in the last five, to propel the High Point University women’s basketball team past Presbyterian College 79-71 on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 25). Sophomore Skyler Curran also had a big game, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
“I’m happy to get out of here with a win,” head coach Chelsea Banbury had to say after the game. “I think offensively we executed pretty well against Presbyterian’s zone. We had a hard time with it the first time we played them – they’re very good at what they do. Their defense is a little different and it’s not easy to get shots against it so I thought our girls did well executing against the zone.”
Jenson Edwards and Chyna McMichel kept the Panthers in the game in the early stages, combining for the first 12 HPU points of the game. Edwards dropped in a quarter-high eight points while McMichel added four to give High Point a 12-10 lead.
After Presbyterian took the lead, Brown came alive with five straight points to retake the lead for the Purple and White. PC scored with 2:48 left in the quarter to retake it once again, but Courtney Meadows and Danielle Deoul combined for six of the quarter’s final eight points to give the Panthers a five-point, 25-20 lead after the opening 10 minutes.
High Point never lost its lead in the second quarter, extending it to as many as eight in the final few minutes of the half. Brown scored 10 in the quarter to give her 15 for the half. She scored HPU’s first five of the second to push the lead to seven but the Blue Hose countered with a five-point run to make it a two-point game again until Brown pulled up in the paint to put an end to the run.
Curran scored the Panthers’ next five points to get to the media timeout in the second, after which HPU went cold from the floor and didn’t hit another field goal for the rest of the half. Zaria Wright and Brown each connected of a pair of free throws with just under three minutes left in the half to push the lead to eight. Brown hit one more free throw with 1:25 left and that was the last time the Purple and White scored in the half, with PC closing the half on a 5-1 run to cut High Point’s lead to four, 44-40.
Presbyterian continued its run to start the second half, extending it to an 11-2 run to knot things up at 46. Brown connected in the paint and from range to give High Point the five-point lead but the hosts rattled off eight straight to take the lead before Brown connected from three again to stop the run and tie the game again at 54 at the media timeout.
HPU’s defense tightened up after the timeout, only allowing five more points in the third quarter. The Panthers went on a 9-3 run to take the lead again, and Curran hit a three as time expired to give the Purple and White a seven-point, 66-59 lead entering the fourth.
Offense was scarce to start the fourth, with each team only making two layups each in the first five and a half minutes of the quarter. The scoring picked up but neither team could pull away, trading blows and going shot-for-shot.
PC was able to get two shots in a row to fall just under a minute, cutting the Panthers’ lead to four. The Blue Hose were forced to foul and sent Curran to the line with 24.8 left on the clock. Curran made both free throws to push the lead to six, which it never dropped below again. Wright sank a pair of free throws as well and the Panther defense kept Presbyterian out of the bucket to come away with the victory.
High Point’s road portion of the regular season is now complete, with the Panthers closing the season out with a trio of games at the Millis Center. The first is this Saturday (Feb. 29) when Longwood comes to town for a 2 p.m. game.