By Michael O’Hearn – firstname.lastname@example.org – Staff Writer | Jan. 21,2015 |
High Point University defeated the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team Tuesday night, 67-50, dropping them to 2-5 in conference play. This is the seventh straight loss for the Bulldogs this season.
Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, in her third year as head coach of the women’s basketball team, said her players followed the game plan for most of the first half before getting off course during the second half.
“I thought we executed the game plan for about 15 minutes in the game and the other 25 we deviated,” Kirkpatrick said. “We have to stick to the game plan and what that plan is has to be at the top of the conversation.”
The first half of the game consisted of tough defense and offense on behalf of the Bulldogs. K.J. Weaver, guard for the Bulldogs, put the first two points up on the scoreboard and finished the game as the team’s leading scorer.
According to Weaver, learning how to put together a strong defense against High Point was a goal during practice.
“We actually learned some of their plays and tried to learn how to defend ourselves against ourselves,” Weaver said. “We usually come out strong during the first half and then, during the second half, we realize we have to put an entire game together.”
The last tie of the game came at the 6:37 mark in the first half after a layup by Bulldogs guard Paige Love, bringing the score to 17-17
The Panthers went on an 13-2 run before Shonese Jones, senior guard for the Bulldogs, sank a three-pointer at the 2:09 mark, followed by a layup by Bulldogs guard Khaila Webb to end the half. The score was 30-24 at halftime, with the Panthers maintaining a 6-point lead.
“Scouting each player in order to really put pressure on High Point with our defense was the focus of our practice,” Jones said. “However, not playing as a team and worrying more about individual stats hurt us.”
The Panthers dominated in scoring and turnovers during the second half. With 14:57 remaining, the Panthers capped an 8-0 run to give them an 11-point lead on the Bulldogs.
“Turning the ball over and being undisciplined on our defensive end was a problem during the second half,” Kirkpatrick said.
High Point caused UNCA to commit 20 turnovers, which they converted into 17 points.
“Our plans worked but we had little mistakes like turnovers and missed layups,” Weaver said. “We are going to work on cutting those out of the game.”
Weaver said this was her first time back on the court since recovering from a foot injury that benched her for six games. She walked away from the stadium having scored 12 points and going 8 for 10 from the free throw line.
“I was trying to work back into the groove because I had a foot injury that put me out for about six games,” Weaver said. “Coming back and having a game like that made me feel better about future possibilities. It was a big step for me.”