High Point women clinch Big South title
The High Point University women’s basketball team clinched the 2013-14 Big South Regular Season Championship with a 68-60 win at Radford on Saturday. The Panthers will be the No. 1 seed at the Big South Tournament beginning Thursday in Conway, S.C. Freshman Kaylah Keys scored 26 points in the victory.
The Panthers finish the regular season with a 20-9 overall record and 16-4 mark in Big South play to win the regular season title for the second time in school history. High Point also won the regular season in 2006-07. HPU’s 16 Big South wins are a program record.
“I couldn’t be happier to win a Big South regular season championship,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “I am so proud of this team and how hard they worked all season. This was a tough game and shows we need to keep improving as we move in to the tournament. I am so appreciative of the fans who made the trip to Virginia to cheer us on today. We owe so much of our success to their support.”
Keys scored 26 points to lead High Point to the win at Radford. She hit four three-pointers to give her 70 for the season, breaking the HPU single-season record of 67 set by Leslie Cook in 2006-07. Keys went 8-of-8 from the free-throw line, also breaking the single-season HPU record for made free throws. She now has 129, breaking Shamia Brown’s record of 126 from 2011-12.
Stacia Robertson added 16 points, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocks in the win. Latrice Phelps chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
High Point jumped out to a 28-point lead in the first half and took a 46-25 lead in to the locker room at halftime. The Panthers were 7-of-11 from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes, including four made by Keys to set the HPU record.
Radford countered with a hot start to the second half, going on a 30-10 run to get within one, 56-55, with 4:10 seconds left in the game. Rachael Ross tied the game, 57-57, on a layup with 3:31 remaining. Robertson scored back-to-back baskets, pushing HPU’s lead back to four. Radford sent Keys to the line three times in the final 1:18 of the game and the freshman converted all six attempts to secure the win, 68-60.
High Point will be the No. 1 seed in the Big South Conference Tournament in Conway, S.C. The Panthers will play at noon on Thursday against the winner of the No. 8/No. 9 game.