Panthers, Camels meet in Big South women’s quarterfinal
High Point University women’s coach DeUnna Hendrix is unsure whether getting a rematch with Campbell today at 6 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the Big South tournament will be a curse or blessing after beating the Camels by 22 a week ago Thursday.
“It could be a good thing or a bad thing,” Hendrix said. “It could be a good thing if it means we come out with a lot of confidence knowing we beat them by 22 and then play that way again. It will be bad if we come out and don’t play as hard because we take for granted that we are going to do it again.”
The Panthers (17-12) ran away to a 79-57 on the strength of stout defense, forcing 23 turnovers that resulted in 28 points and limiting the Camels (19-10) to 37 percent field-goal shooting. On offense, the Panthers made the most of their height advantage as all-conference center Cheyenne Parker and forward Stacia Robertson repeatedly scored in the paint. Parker made 11 of 16 shots in scoring 24 points. Robertson hit 7 of 11 shots and wound up with 15 points.
The performance was one of the best of the season for the Panthers, who are the No 4 seed. Campbell is the No. 5 seed.
“I think the biggest thing was our effort defensively,” Hendrix said. “That was more important than our strategy. We have to come out and play with the same effort again. We did try to use our height because they are shorter. And we may have a couple of new defensive wrinkles in a case they switch some things.”
All-conference guard Tonisha Baker, the former T. Wingate Andrews standout who leads the Camels offensively and defensively, said after last week’s game that the Camels didn’t execute their offense in the halfcourt, committed too many turnovers and didn’t rebound well enough.
“We’ve got to up the ante and execute our sets,” Baker said. “We’ve got to play better defense. Defense is going to be the key.”