Blazers hold off HPU

Nov. 27, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

UAB just had a little extra in the tank down the stretch.

In a frenetic, back-and-forth game, the Blazers made a key 8-2 key with the game tied inside the final four minutes to hand the High Point University women’s basketball team a 58-53 loss on Tuesday evening in the Millis Center.

“We played seven or eight kids tonight, so we were able to rotate in and out and stay a little more fresh,” HPU coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “But, at the same time, those toughness plays at the end, where we have to come up with loose balls and take care of the ball, we didn’t make them.”

With the score tied 47-all, UAB (7-1) scored on four straight possessions — including back-to-back-to-back buckets by Karisma Chapman — while the Panthers (2-4) converted just once to lead 55-49 with two minutes to go.

HPU, after scoring on Cheyenne Parker’s layup to remain within two, went the final 2:40 without a field goal and only one free throw by Stacia Robertson before Lindsay Puckett hit a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining.

“When we watch film, we talk about toughness plays, and that’s what we try to define them as — as them coming up with those loose balls, as them executing,” Hendrix said. “That’s where we need to get better. ...

“I think the past week or two weeks, we’ve talked about just competing for 40 minutes. And I felt like we did that. Now, we’re working hard and competing for 40 minutes, so we have to execute and work smart for 40 minutes. So we’re making steps.”

Chapman finished with 17 points while Amber Jones had 16 to lead the Blazers. Parker had 17 points and 19 rebounds while Puckett had 13 points to lead HPU, which continued to be without point guard Erin Reynolds, who is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered at Xavier.

The Panthers now hit the road for its next seven games, starting Friday against Monmouth in the Navy Classic in Maryland. Their next home game will be Jan. 3 against Charleston Southern.

“That’s why we play nonconference; that’s why you hit the road — because the conference tournament’s on the road,” Hendrix said. “So, we’re trying to prepare for the conference tournament the best we can. It’s going to be a long stretch, but we feel good going in.”