CLINTON, S.C. – The Blue Hose outscored the Panthers in the third and fourth quarter but could not overcome a 19-point halftime deficit, as High Point survived for the 70-63 win over the Presbyterian College women’s basketball team in Big South action Saturday afternoon at the Templeton Center in Clinton, S.C. Trinity Johnson led the Blue Hose with a career-high 19 points on the afternoon.
Scoring the Game
Presbyterian College jumped out to a 6-2 lead with six and a half to go in the first quarter, helped by back to back baskets from Salina Virola. High Point responded with 12 unanswered, which included three-pointers from Skyler Curran and Camryn Brown, to take an eight-point, 14-6 lead, with just over three to play. Two free throws from Kacie Hall and a layup Riley Hemm ended the scoring drought for PC and cut the margin to four. It was short-lived as the Panthers closed out the quarter with a 4-2 run to head to the second with an 18-12 lead.
High Point scored the second quarter’s first 13 points to build to a 31-12 lead, 5:05 remaining in the half. A pair of PC free throws put the home team on the board, 4:02 left. The Panthers went ahead by 21 over the next couple of minutes off four from Curran, before Bria Gibbs closed out the second quarter with a layup to cut the margin back to 19, 35-16, at the half.
It was a different start for the Blue Hose in third quarter, as Virola and Shamani Stafford hit threes in the first minute to cut the HPU lead down to 14, 35-21. It was the start of a 9-1 run to make it an 11-point game, 36-25, with 7:15 left in the third. The Panthers used an 11-3 run over the next minute and a half to extend the lead back to 19, 47-28, 5:27 on the clock. The Blue Hose wouldn’t go away quietly, cutting the margin to 14 off a Johnson three, then to 12 with under three to play in the quarter off another Johnson three-pointer. HPU went ahead by 15 off three quick points, but Kiara Jackson hit a jumper with 43 seconds to go as the third quarter ended with the Panthers leading 54-41.
PC cut the margin to 11 twice early in the fourth quarter, off a Hall three-pointer, and off two Hall free throws, which made it 60-49, 5:38 remaining. Johnson added a free throw and Hall put up two more at 4:44 and 4:18, and suddenly PC trailed by just eight. Fouled again, Johnson hit two more free throws, PC’s seventh in a row, to make it a six-point game, 3:20 left. Another free throw cut the margin to five, but a Lindsey Edwards three-pointer at 1:34 took High Point up by eight, 63-55. PC used its 14th free throw of the quarter to make it a seven-point game with 36 seconds to go, but High Point hit its free throws when it had to, connecting on four in the game’s final 30 seconds to survive for the 70-63 win.
Players of the Game
Trinity Johnson led a trio PC players in double-figures with 19 points, 13 coming off free throws. Kacie Hall added 15 points, and Ericka Blackwell-Boyden with 10 points. Kiara Jackson paced the team on the boards with seven. Shea Morgan paced High Point with 22 points, with Bria Gibson on top in rebounds with seven.
Stats of the Game
High Point shot 46.0% for the game, compared to a season-low 27.6% for PC. The Blue Hose hit six three-pointers and a season-high 25 free throws. High Point hit nine threes, and finished with 15 free throws. The Panthers led the rebounding margin, 43-32, and held a 12-4 advantage in second-chance points. PC controlled points off turnovers, 25-18, capitalizing on 10 less turnovers, 20-30.
- Trinity Johnson scored a career-high 19 points on a career-high 36 minutes played.
- Trinity Johnson went 13-for-16 from the charity stripe, both career-marks, and both second in the PC DI record book.
- Both the team’s 25 free throws and 35 free throw attempts ties for second in the PC DI record book.
- Kacie Hall reached 151 career three-pointers made to move into 6th all-time for PC.
- Kiara Jackson's team-high seven rebounds were a season-high and tied her collegiate-best.
For the Record
PC drops to 4-20 overall and 2-11 in the Big South, while High Point moves to 17-7, 10-3.
The Blue Hose are next in action at USC Upstate, Tuesday, Feb. 19, with tip-off slated for 6 p.m., and broadcast live on ESPN+.