LYNCHBURG, VA. – The third time was the charm for the No. 6 – seeded Presbyterian College women’s basketball team as the Blue Hose upset the No. 3 seed High Point Panthers 55-48 Friday night at the Vines Center. With the win, PC moves on to the semifinals, where they will face No. 7 UNC Asheville in a 4 p.m. ET contest on Saturday.
Players of the Game
The Blue Hose were led by Cortney Storey’s 15 points. The junior guard went 6-for-19 from the floor and 3-for-8 from the free-throw line. She added four rebounds, four assists, and a steal.
Haleigh Hatfield paced the Panthers with 13 points and set a tournament record with 23 rebounds. The sophomore forward shot 3-for-7 from the field, including 1-for-4 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 6-for-6 from charity stripe. She added an assist and a steal.
Stat of the Game
PC led for most of the game (38:29) and held its largest lead 47-34 with 5:31 to play in the fourth quarter.
How It Happened
PC opened up the scoring as Rebecca Walker knocked down a three-pointer from the right side of the arc, but Kaylah Keys answered in kind with a trifecta from the top of the key. Kaycie Reffner got a shot from distance to fall, but Emma Bockrath, the Big South Player of the Year, hit a jumper to keep High Point close in the early going. Walker earned a trip to the line, shooting 1-for-2 to give the Blue Hose a 7-5 lead. Aianna Kelly then found the senior forward down low for another score as PC was in control 9-5 at the first media timeout (4:15). Kacie Hall drove to the basket for her first points of the game. Shea Morgan then scored a layup to end a six-minute Panther drought and the first quarter came to a close with PC in front 11-7.
Salina Virola drained a three-ball from the right corner and added a bucket in the paint to start the second quarter. Hatfield responded with a 2-for-2 effort from the line and a tip-in. Virola got another three-pointer to fall to make it 19-11 with 7:55 on the clock. Walker pushed the lead to double-digits with a 15-foot jumper in the lane. High Point took off on a 5-0 run of its own to close the gap 21-16 at the 5:37 media timeout. Janie Miles got into the scorer’s column with a long-range shot and Reffner followed with a layup. The Panthers earned a pair of trips to the line, shooting 3-for-4, but Walker and Storey got back-to-back baskets for a 30-19 lead. After a pair of Morgan free-throws, Miles scored her second deep ball of the night. High Point ended the opening half with four unanswered as PC went into the break on top 33-25.
The Blue Hose shot 13-for-32 (40.6 percent) from the field, 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc, and 1-for-3 (33.3 percent) from the free-throw line in the first half. PC held the edge in points in the paint (14-8), points off turnovers (12-3), fast-break points (4-2), bench points (10-5), and steals (5-1).
Reffner found Storey on a cut to the basket to open up the scoring in the third. High Point got its first basket with a Lindsey Edwards finger-roll at the 6:26 mark, but Storey scored an old-fashioned three-point play. Hatfield got a tip-in bucket as High Point trailed 38-29 at the 3:25 media timeout. The Panthers sent Storey to the line and the junior guard made 1-of-2 shots. Both teams got into scoring droughts and Edwards hit a long jumper from the right side. Storey answered the score with a layup and the Blue Hose took a 41-31 lead into the final 10 minutes of action.
High Point kicked off the final quarter with a 2-for-2 free-throw effort from Keys. After Walker netted a floater in the lane, Bockrath shot 1-for-2 from the charity stripe. Reffner followed with a layup to make it 45-34 at the 6:39 mark. Storey caught a Panther defender napping and got the uncontested layup to fall. After the 5:27 media timeout, Keys connected from beyond the arc. With 3:08 left in the game, High Point sent Reffner to the line and the senior guard converted both of her shots to give PC a 49-37 lead. Camryn Brown scored back-to-back three-pointers to give the Panthers some life. Storey scored a basket to push the PC lead to 51-43. High Point had multiple second-chance looks, but could not get a score before Kelly got the fast-break bucket. Brown scored her third deep ball of the game to get the Panthers to within 53-46 with :33 remaining. Storey shot 1-for-2 from the free-throw line before High Point used a timeout with :29 left in the game. Hatfield then knocked down both of her free shots and PC called a timeout with :14 on the clock to advance the ball. The Panthers got a look at a three-pointer, but Reffner grabbed the rebound and was sent to the line. She made 1-of-2 shots and PC earned the 55-48 victory.
- Walker was just shy of double-double with 12 points and nine boards. The senior forward shot 5-for-12 from the field, 1-for-4 from distance, and 1-for-2 from the line. She added an assist and three steals.
- Reffner was the other PC player to reach double-digit scoring, finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds. The senior guard went 3-for-4, including 1-for-2 from long-range, and converted 3-of-4 free-throw attempts. She added three assists and three steals.
- The third quarter only featured 14 combined points as both teams got into scoring droughts. Storey scored all eight of PC’s points with three layups and a pair of charity shots.
- PC shot 21-of-57 (36.8 percent) from the field, 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from beyond the arc, and 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) from the free-throw line.
- The Blue Hose committed fewer turnovers (8-17) and held the advantage in steals (12-2), points scored in the paint (30-12), points off turnovers (18-8), and fast-break points (4-2). The game featured one tie and one lead change.
- It marks the first time since 2013 that the No. 1, 5, 6, and 7 seeds have advanced to the semifinals.
Up NextThe Blue Hose will take on the Bulldogs in the second semifinal game tomorrow, March 11. The teams split the conference series, each winning on the road. Last time out, PC shot 7-of-8 from the line in the final quarter to win 52-47 at Kimmel Arena. Walker led the team with a season-high 12 points.