Panthers reach Big South final
Up 11 with 11 minutes left, the High Point University women held on to defeat Campbell 73-69 Saturday night and advance to Sunday’s final in the Big South Tournament at Coastal Carolina.
Stacia Robertson led the Panthers (22-9) with 20 points and seven rebounds. She made three crucial buckets and had a blocked shot down the stretch. Kayla Keys added 18 and Latrice Phelps 11.
The Panthers will face Winthrop in Sunday's 5 p.m. final. Winthrop topped Liberty 65-59 in the late semifinal.
Roslyn Presley had 22 points for the Camels. Kiera Ganes added 14.
Ashley James got the Camels within one with a minute left. But, Keys answered with a layup to make it four and D Janelle Brown of the Camels misfired on three free throws with 3.9 seconds to go.
The Panthers were dealt a blow when Ashante Richard went down with a knee injury just past the 16-minute mark in the second half. She was hurt during a sequence in which Keys scored on a 2-on-1 fastbreak. Unable to put weight on her right leg, Richard was helped off the court and went straight to the locker room.
Keys basket started a 14-1 run that put the Panthers up 56-44 with 11:24 to go. DeAnneshia Jackson hit a jumper, Phelps connected from the lane, Lexi Patterson hit a 3, Keys hit a jumper after Robertson came up with a block and Patterson hit a 3.
But after going without a field goal for nearly five minutes, the Camels hit a pair of 3s and a layup to get within three with 8:48 to go.
HPU led 36-34 at the end of a first half which was highlighted by 15 lead changes and four ties.
Appearing quicker than in a 64-59 loss at the Millis Center on Feb. 6 and driving to the basket, the Camels led by six early at 12-6 and by five at 29-24 with 6:34 to go in the period. The Panthers wiped out the latter deficit with eight points in a row — those on two free throws by Keys, a hook near the basket by Jackson, a jumper by Lexi Patterson and a short hook by Robertson.
Campbell scored four to regain the lead. Richard hit two free throws to give HPU the lead, and after a Camel free throw, Robertson hit two free throws to put the Panthers up 36-34.