Robertson sparks Panther women on Senior Day
Things didn’t exactly go the way the High Point University women may have liked. But, in the end, they got the job done.
The Panthers struggled at times with fouls and turnovers but strung together a key 8-2 spurt in the final three minutes to beat Coastal Carolina 58-53 in their regular-season finale Saturday afternoon in the Millis Center.
"It’s huge,” coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Going into the conference tournament, everybody wants that confidence. The best way to do that is to end with a win. ... It was just getting stops. We really talked about that in the last four minutes. Just getting stops possession-by-possession and then taking care of the ball on the offensive end. I think we did a good job of that. There were times we had lapses. Like any game, though, it’s going to come down to defensive stops.”
Stacia Robertson scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead High Point (17-12, 11-7), which heads into next week’s Big South Conference tournament at Coastal Carolina as the No. 4 seed and will play fifth-seeded Campbell on Friday. Tayler Tremblay added 16 points — including 14 in the second half — while Cheyenne Parker had eight points, 15 rebounds and five blocks.
“It was a little ugly,” said Robertson, a redshirt sophomore forward who also had six blocks and five steals, “but we just needed these two wins to go into the conference tournament with some momentum. And it’s Senior Day, so we wanted to get them (Kendra Wallace, Jazmin Cromartie, Kamille Lisonbee) a win. We were playing for them.
“It’s just grinding at that point,” she said of the difference over the final minutes. “Coach was saying: Just grind this one out, get this win. That’s what we had to had to do — grind it out to win.”
After leading 24-23 at halftime, the Panthers couldn’t quite break away from the Chanticleers (13-15, 8-10) in the second half, despite a 9-0 run early in the half to lead by seven. The back-and-forth play continued into the final minutes, as Parker was called for her fourth foul with 12:23 left and Robertson followed with her fourth foul with 7:53 left. After stealing a couple minutes on the bench, both returned for the final six minutes.
Robertson made a couple baskets — including a key putback with 37 seconds left to give High Point a 54-50 lead — plus made a couple steals and blocks on defense during that critical span. Parker also contributed four free throws, including two with 2:43 left to spark the Panthers’ 8-2 run to lead 56-50 with 25.3 seconds that was essentially the difference in the game.
“Chey and I have been playing with four fouls it seems like all season,” Robertson said with a laugh. “We knew we had to be smart about it. Sometimes we make frustration fouls and things that are so unnecessary. We just had to be smart about it and keep going as hard as we can. I knew I had four fouls, but at the same time I knew it’s better to foul out than to let them get that play, get the extra points.”
Katelyn Connor, Angelica Henry and Kayla Cook each scored 11 points to lead Coastal Carolina.
Both teams shot just over 32 percent for the game, while the Chanticleers had 19 turnovers and the Panthers had 14.