Panther women put Flames on ice, 71-63
The High Point University women’s basketball team led the entire game en route to a 71-63 victory over Liberty on Thursday at the Vines Center. Junior Tayler Tremblay had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds and graduate student Kendra Wallace had a season-high 18 points.
“I am so proud of this team,” said head coach DeUnna Hendrix. “We showed a lot of resiliency and didn’t let the weather and the time change get in our heads. We competed for 40 minutes and got contributions form every single player. We played great defense, especially Lexi Patterson who guarded Devon Brown and had a great night.”
Tremblay had a season-high 11 rebounds to go with 16 points, two assists and one steal. Wallace led the Panthers with 18 points. Redshirt-sophomore Stacia Robertson added 13 points and junior Cheyenne Parker had 11 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Tolu Omotola led Liberty with 19 points and Devon Brown finished with 15, including 11-of-12 shooting from the free throw line.
High Point improved to 11-7 overall and 5-2 in Big South play. Liberty falls to 13-6 with a 5-2 league record. The Panthers have beaten Liberty at the Vines Center for two straight seasons.
High Point opened the game with a 7-0 run to build a lead it maintained the entire first half. Robertson drove the lane then dished down low to Parker who laid it in for the first basket of the game. Tremblay collected a defensive rebound and found Parker streaking ahead for a fast break layup to make it 4-0. Wallace beat a defender a pulled up for a jumper that extended the lead to 6-0 and Lindsay Puckett sank a free throw to cap the run.
Omotola drained a pair of free throws for the Flames to cut High Point’s lead to two, 14-12 with 13:03 on the cock. HPU went scoreless for two minutes before Wallace broke the drought with a three pointer to push HPU’s lead back to five, 17-12.
With 4:18 to play Reagan Miller hit a three to again put the Flames within two, 29-27. HPU went on an 8-0 to open up a 10-point lead. Tremblay grabbed an offensive rebound and laid the ball in to start the run and she finished it with two made free throws to give HPU a 37-27 lead. Miller hit a three with 22 seconds left in the half for Liberty’s first basket in nearly four minutes. High Point led 37-30 at the half.
Jasmine Gardner tied the game for the Flames, 42-42 with 14:27 to play, but the Panthers answered with a 10-0 run to push the lead to 52-42. Robertson started the run with a layup and Wallace hit a three from the left side of the arc. Tremblay had the next two baskets for HPU, including a tre from right in front of High Point’s bench.
Wallace took a jumper from the free-throw line, scoring the basket while getting fouled by Miller. She sank the free throw to extend HPU’s lead to 67-60 with 1:36 to play. The Panthers held on to win 71-63.
Freshman Tabitha Fudge finished with eight points and three rebounds and Patterson had three points, two assists and two steals.
High Point will have a week off before facing Longwood at the Millis Center on Jan. 24. The game will tip at 7 p.m. The Panthers are 14-11 against Longwood including a 73-51 win last year at the Millis Center.