High Point defeats Campbell 73-69 in Big South semifinal

Mar. 08, 2014 @ 08:51 PM

Top-seeded High Point held on for a 73-69 victory over Campbell Saturday evening in the semifinal round of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship at the HTC Center.

The Panthers (22-9) will meet either Winthrop or Liberty in Sunday’s 5 p.m. title game.

Stacia Robertson led High Point with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, plus seven rebounds, while Kaylah Keys added 18 and Latrice Phelps 11.

Senior Roslyn Presley scored 24 points and added 12 rebounds for fourth-seeded Campbell (19-12), which trailed by 11 with 11:35 to play before trimming the gap to one down the stretch.

Big South defensive player of the year Kiera Gaines added 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Camels, while Summer Leverette and D Janelle Brown chipped in nine points apiece.

“It was a tremendous basketball game and I’m really proud of our kids’ effort,” said Campbell head coach Wanda Watkins. “When we were down 11, we could have thrown in the towel, but we fought back. But High Point had the answer every time we cut it close. There was so much heart out there tonight and so much class shown by both teams.”

In a game that featured 16 lead changes and 12 ties, Campbell led 44-42 after James’ bucket with 16:21 to play. Over the next 5:34, however, the Lady Camels without a bucket while High Point built its largest lead thanks to a 14-1 run.

Lexi Patterson’s three from the left corner pushed the High Point margin to 56-45 with 11:35 remaining. However, Amanda Coffer and Gaines knocked down threes in an 8-0 spurt to trim the margin to 56-53. Keys’ pull-up jumper again stretched the gap to 60-53 and the Panthers led by seven after Teddy Vincent’s transition bucket with 6:21 to go.

Campbell made one last push and drew within 68-67 on Gaines’ deep three from the left wing, but High Point again answered on Phelps’ fast-break bucket eight seconds later.

James’ move on the left blocks brought CU within 70-69, but Keys again knocked down a shot from the left side with 41.3 seconds left to stretch the gap to three.

Campbell had a chance to tie, but Brown’s triple from the right side hit the front of the iron and bounced off. Lindsay Puckett rebounded and hit one of two foul shots for the final margin.

High Point shot 43.5 percent (27-62) on the night, 55 percent (16-29) in the second half and made more free throws (15-23) than the Lady Camels attempted (6-12). Campbell shot 44 percent (28-63) from the field and finished with a 42-36 edge on the glass, grabbing a 13-4 advantage in second-chance points thanks to 11 offensive rebounds.

The first half alone featured 14 lead changes and seven ties, and neither team led by more than six points. Campbell went on an early 9-0 run to grab a 12-6 edge with 16:23 to play on Gaines’ bucket. The Camels led 29-24 after Leverette scored with 6:37 remaining. However, High Point scored eight straight and led 32-29 after Robertson scored underneath. The Panthers led 36-34 at the break.