Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 71, Charleston Southern 55
Records: HPU 15-13 (13-6 Big South), CSU 4-24 (2-17 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, March 7 — vs. UNC Asheville (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 4 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Jenson Edwards scored 12 points and the redshirt freshman grabbed as many rebounds for her second consecutive game with a double-double in High Point University women’s basketball’s 71-55 victory over Charleston Southern University Wednesday night (March 4).
Senior Camryn Brown flirted with a triple-double for the second time this season, scoring a team-high 21 points and dishing out nine assists with nine rebounds while redshirt sophomore Zaria Wright matched her career-high with 20 points in the win, HPU’s fourth in a row. Brown and Wright make it two straight games the Purple and White have had two 20-point scorers and the third time the Panthers have done that this season, a feat that was accomplished only once a season ago.
“Like I say all the time, I’m happy to come away with a win,” head coach Chelsea Banbury said following the game. “We needed everybody to contribute and everyone that came in did a good job of that. Z was huge off the bench, Jenson has been excellent the last couple of games with her double-doubles and the minutes that Olivia VanSlooten had improved our offensive movement – she was setting screens and got us second opportunities. It’s nice to have everybody contribute and I think everybody that came in had a positive impact on the game.”
High Point struggled to find the basket early in the game, finding itself down 10-4 with just over three minutes remaining the first quarter. The end of the quarter didn’t go much better, with Charleston Southern closing it on an 8-6 run to lead by eight, 18-10, after one. The Panthers made only three shots in the first for a 23.1% shooting percentage and missed all four shots taken from behind the arc, while the Buccaneers connected at a 60% clip.
The roles reversed in the second quarter, with HPU shooting 50.0% in the second and holding the visitors to three makes for a shooting percentage of 15.8%. Charleston Southern only scored six points in the quarter while the Purple and White poured in 21 to take a 31-24 lead into the break.
High Point scored the first seven points of the second to cut the deficit to one point before CSU stopped the run with a jumper to regain a three-point lead. The Panthers didn’t trail for much longer, with Skyler Curran and Danielle Deoul both connecting from inside the paint to give HPU the lead and jumpstart a 12-2 run that saw the lead grow to as much as seven. Edwards and Curran connected from downtown on back-to-back possessions during the run and Wright had the layup to make it a seven-point game with just over two minutes left in the half. Both teams only made one shot in the final two minutes of the second, with Brown finding the basket with 32 seconds left to give the Purple and White a seven-point, 31-24 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw an offensive outburst from both sides, with both teams shooting over 45% and combining for 43 points in the quarter. HPU’s offense was led by Wright, scoring 10 of her 20 points in the quarter.
Charleston So. came out of the break with a 6-1 run before Wright found the basket inside to stop the run. The Bucs tied it up shortly after, hitting a pair of free throws and a layup to knot the score at 34. High Point retook the lead on a triple from Edwards and four points from Brown but CSU was there to tie things up again at 41-all with just under three minutes showing on the clock.
That’s when Wright took over, hitting a three and then finishing a three-point play and scoring on a layup to keep the Panthers in the lead. HPU took a six-point, 52-46 lead into the final quarter when Deoul connected from deep on a buzzer-beater.
The Buccaneers scored the first basket of the fourth to make it a four-point game but Brown countered with a triple and High Point’s lead never dipped below five points from then on. Brown dominated in the final quarter, matching Wright’s mark of 10 points in the third quarter with 10 of her own in the fourth to finish with 21 points and secure her fourth straight game of scoring 20 or more and sixth such game in the last seven.
Brown hit a pair of free throws to give HPU a double-digit lead, 60-50, and Edwards dropped in a layup to get her to 11 points record her second double-double in as many games. Wright hit her third triple of the game with 3:49 showing on the clock to give High Point a 16-point lead, its largest of the game. The Bucs tried fouling to comeback but Edwards and Brown converted on free throws to keep the lead at 16 for the victory, 71-55.
The Panthers are back in action at home on Saturday (March 7) to host UNC Asheville at 2 p.m. in the final game of the regular season. Seniors Camryn Brown and Olivia VanSlooten will be recognized prior to the match for the careers in the Purple and White as part of HPU’s Senior Day festivities.