Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 86, Longwood 79
Records: HPU 14-13 (12-6 Big South), LU 10-17 (6-12)
Next HPU Event: Wednesday, March 4 — vs. Charleston Southern (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team made it three wins in a row with an 86-79 victory over Longwood University Saturday afternoon (Feb. 29). Two Panthers scored 20+ points for the second time this season, with both coming against the Lancers. The win gives HPU the season sweep over Longwood and extends the Purple and White’s winning streak to 18 straight over LU.
“Today was a hard-fought battle,” head coach Chelsea Banbury said following the win. “We were down most of the game but fortunately we had a pretty big third quarter to get ahead a little bit. Cam was excellent again with eight assists and three turnovers with 20 points. She filled the stat sheet while also guarding their best player at the other end in Kyla McMakin.”
High Point struggled to find the basket to start the game, making just four shots in the first quarter. The lead changed four times in the first and Longwood came out on top by four, thanks to a 9-3 run to end the quarter.
The Lancers pushed their lead to 11 points after starting the second on a 10-3 scoring run, with seven of the 10 coming from Longwood’s standout freshman Kyla McMakin. HPU countered with nine straight, with four different Panthers scoring on the run, to cut the deficit to just two points. High Point made it a one-point game with 1:31 left in the half after an old-fashioned three-point play from Jenson Edwards put her at the line, where she connected.
Her free throw was the final point the Panthers scored in the half and LU got two buckets inside in the final minute to lead by five, 37-32, at the break. HPU shot just 33.3% from the floor in the first half while the visitors connected at a 48.4% clip. Longwood also outrebounded the Purple and White in the first 20 minutes, grabbing 24 boards to High Point’s 16. HPU senior Camryn Brown and McMakin finished the half leading their respective teams in points, each scoring 11.
“We had to play with a lot more energy [in the second half] than we did in the first 20 minutes, we came out flat,” Banbury told her team at halftime. “They had more energy than we did and they beat us to every loose ball. I told the team that if that happens, we’re not going to win the game. We needed to come out with a lot more energy than we started the game with and we did, and then the shots started to fall.”
The shots did indeed start to fall for High Point after the break, with the Panthers shooting 61.3% in the second half to bring their game total to 46.9% and improving to 13-1 when shooting at least 40%.
Sophomore Skyler Curran had the hot hand for HPU in the third quarter, scoring 11 of her team-high 24 points in the third. She hit a layup in the paint off a nice feed from Brown to start the quarter and both hit threes on consecutive possessions to cut the deficit to one again.
The Panthers retook the lead at 45-43 just over halfway through the quarter when Edwards connected from deep, the first time High Point had led since leading 10-8 with 2:03 showing on the clock in the first quarter. Longwood came back to tie it up and it went back and forth for three minutes before HPU went on an 8-4 run to close the quarter and take a 59-55 lead into the fourth.
Curran had six of the eight points in the run, knocking down a triple and then converting on a three-point play while redshirt sophomore Danielle Deoul got open inside for the quarter’s final points with 25 seconds left.
Brown scored seven of her 20 points in the third and transitioned to more of a facilitating role in the final quarter. She only scored two points but dished out five assists in the final 10 minutes and didn’t commit a single turnover.
Triples from freshman Callie Scheier and redshirt sophomore Zaria Wright pushed the Panthers’ lead to seven but Longwood scored the next seven to knot things up again, the eighth and final time the game was tied. It was as close as a one-point game with just over four minutes remaining when High Point went on an 11-2 run to extend the lead to 10 points, 80-70 with 1:21 remaining, the sixth time in 2020 that HPU has scored 80+ points in a game.
Redshirt freshman Courtney Meadows drained a pair of free throws with 47 seconds left to give the Purple and White their largest lead of the game, a 12-point 82-70 advantage. Longwood kept fouling the Panthers and feeding McMakin in an attempt to tie things up but HPU hit its free throws and limited McMakin from the floor, holding on for the 86-79 victory.
High Point’s homestand continues on Wednesday (March 4) when Charleston Southern comes to the Millis Center for a 7 p.m. contest. The game is pushed back a day from the normal Tuesday slot to avoid conflicts with the first round of the Big South Tournament on the men’s side.