Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 84, Longwood 62
Records: HPU 19-5 (17-2 Big South), LW 12-10 (11-6 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Friday, February 25, 2021 — vs. Longwood (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 6 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Fresh off of being confirmed as the Big South Regular-Season Conference Champions, the High Point University women’s basketball team took down Longwood University 84-62 at the Millis Center Thursday evening (Feb. 25).
It was Senior Night for HPU on Thursday as before the game Miya Bull, Chyna McMichel, and Zaria Wright were honored for their time in the Purple and White.
The win moved High Point to 17-2 in conference play, setting a program record for the most Big South wins in a single season. A win in the final game of the regular season on Friday would also set a program record for the fewest losses in a Big South season for HPU.
“We’re very proud of our team. It was a total team effort today,” assistant coach Jodi Kest said after the game. “We had four players in double figures, which is something we’ve done a lot this year. At any time, anybody on our team can score. We also held a team that averages 71 points a game to 62 and shared the ball with 24 assists and just six turnovers. Longwood is a fantastic team that came in playing very well so we couldn’t be prouder of our team to come away with a win.”
Four different Panthers scored in double digits for the 10th time this season, all 10 of which have been wins. Jenson Edwards led the way with 13 points to go along with nine assists, one shy of Jordan Edwards’ total of 10 assists – the second time this season she’s reached the double-digit mark in the assist column. High Point dished out a total of 24 assists in the game to match its season-high and only committed six turnovers to tie the season-best assist to turnover ratio in a game.
Claire Wyatt and Callie Scheier were right behind Jenson with 12 points each, with all 12 of Callie’s coming from behind the arc, while McMichel scored in double digits for the first time this season with 10 points. Bull missed out on a double-double by two points, finishing the game with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
The first quarter was a very cagey affair, with the teams combining for only 22 points, the second-fewest total points scored in the opening 10 minutes of a High Point game this season. The seniors got to business right away, with all three of the scoring in the first quarter and McMichel leading the team with five points after one. HPU held Longwood to shooting just 15.4% from the floor in the frame, the second-best field goal defense for the Panthers in the first quarter this season.
Wright scored the first points of the game on the opening possession and Jordan Edwards got inside on the fastbreak to make it 4-0. Longwood tied it up just over two minutes in but that was the last time the Lancers were level with HPU. Bull scored her first points of the day to break the tie and the Panthers never looked back, with the lead dropping to as little as a single point only once the rest of the way. McMichel dropped in a trio of free throws and then hit a layup to get to five with as many seconds remaining in the quarter to give High Point a 14-8 lead after one.
The Panthers blew the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Longwood 28-17 in the quarter to lead by 17 at the half. Scheier was automatic from downtown in the second, knocking down all three of her attempts from behind the arc to lead the team with nine points in the quarter.
McMichel scored the first three points of the second for HPU, followed by Scheier’s first three of the game to push the lead to nine. It hit double digits on the next possession when Jenson Edwards stole the ball and took it all the way. She scored on the next possession as well, crossing up the Longwood defender at the elbow for the easy look at the hoop to make it 24-11.
The lead dipped down to just 10 two minutes later but never dipped into single digits as Scheier responded with a three to jumpstart an 11-2 Panther run to take a 19-point lead with two minutes left in the half. High Point only made one more field goal in the final two minutes, coming off the hands of Bull, part of a six-point quarter for the graduate student. The Lancers connected from the floor twice after the Panther run and hit a pair of shots from the stripe to make it 42-25 at the break.
Longwood came out with energy in the second half, scoring the first six points in the third to cut High Point’s lead to 11 and force a Panther timeout. Wyatt ended the run with a bucket in the paint and after the teams traded free throws scored five straight to push the lead back up to 16, 51-35. Wyatt totaled nine points in the third quarter and her final bucket of the stanza sent the lead over 20 for the first time at 63-42. The Lancers hit two shots from the line to get the lead under 20 but Skyler Curran matched that with two free throws of her own to restore the 21-point lead, 65-44, heading into the fourth.
HPU took its largest lead of the game at 26 points in the opening minute of the final quarter, with Curran hitting from range for the first time and Jordan Edwards getting inside for two. Longwood fought back to get the lead down to 20 but the leading digit never returned to being a one the rest of the way as the Panthers stayed level with the Lancers, matching them shot-for-shot.
Scheier hit her fourth triple of the day with the lead at 20 and then it fluctuated between 21 and 25 points the remainder of the contest. Wright checked back in midway through the quarter and finished with four points in the final five minutes of the game to end with a total of six on the day, the most points she’s scored this season since dropping in seven in the season-opener at North Carolina.
High Point concludes the regular season tomorrow (Feb. 26) with another game against Longwood at 6 p.m. Then the Panthers are off until the quarterfinals of the Hercules Tires Big South Women’s Basketball Tournament on March 8 in the Millis Center.