ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Cheyenne Parker's free throw with 25 seconds left proved to be the winning point as High Point edged UNC Asheville 58-57 in Big South Conference women's action Saturday afternoon at Kimmel Arena.
The Panthers (7-6, 1-1 BSC) survived two last-second Bulldog field-goal attempts that would have won the game for Asheville.
Parker enjoyed her 11th double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She also had four blocked shots. Stacia Robertson added 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists before fouling out with one minute left.
Asheville (2-11, 0-2 BSC) was led by sophomore guard Shonese Jones with 20 points, 16 in the second half. Kelli Riles added 11 points and nine rebounds. Riles' nine rebounds moved her career total to 889 and into third place on the school's rebounding list.
"What a gutty effort by our team today," stated Asheville coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "I really hurt for them because they played so hard and battled against a very good High Point team. We just need to keep giving efforts like this the rest of the season, and we're going to win some games."
Asheville trailed 57-54 with 2:19 left but tied the game by making one free throw on three straight possessions. Riles' free throw at the 43-second mark knotted the game at 57-57.
Parker was fouled at the 25-second mark away from the ball. She hit the first free throw but missed the second.
Asheville got the rebound and played for the winning shot. Jones sprung open but her 10-footer spun in-and-out. Abra Sickles came down with the offensive rebound but her put-back just spun out. Parker claimed the final rebound as time ran out.
"We got two great looks," commented Kirkpartick. "I didn't want to call a time-out, because I didn't want High Point to give time to set up its defense. We got two great shots but they didn't go down."
The Bulldogs led for most of the game and forged a five-point lead at 54-49 on a free throw from Paige Love with four minutes left. But High Point quickly tied the game on a long 3-pointer from Lindsay Puckett and a steal and lay-up by Lexi Patterson.
Robertson put High Point in front 56-54 on a lay-up. Pucket hit a free throw to push the Panther lead to 57-54 before Asheville rallied.
The home team led for most of the first half as it built a 14-7 lead early in the contest. High Point rallied and took a 23-21 lead late in the half on a bucket from Tabitha Fudge at the 1:40 mark. Asheville got a trey from Grace Blaylock to take the lead and a lay-up from Riles to push the margin to 26-23. Puckett scored as the half ended to cut the Bulldog lead to 26-25 at halftime.
High Point held a 43-33 rebounding advantage and out-scored the Bulldogs 44-30 in the paint. Asheville forced 23 Panther turnovers and out-scored HPU 29-13 on points-off-turnovers.
High Point shot .500 (15-of-30) from the field in the second but was just 2-of-17 from the 3-point line for the game. Asheville had a season-high 14 steals. Blaylock had four steals.
UNC Asheville hits the road and takes on Radford Thursday night at 7 p.m. High Point returns to the Millis Center to host Charleston Southern Thursday, also at 7 p.m.