Kaylah Keys scored 22 points and the No. 6 seed High Point Panthers held No. 11 seed Winthrop to 28.2 percent from the field in a 73-55 first round win in the Big South tournament on Thursday at Kimmel Arena.
The Panthers advance to the quarterfinals against No. 3 seed Radford on Friday at 8 p.m.
Lindsey Edwards added 10 points while Haleigh Hatfield grabbed 11 rebounds. Winthrop, which played just five players, was led by Aliyah Kilpatrick’s game-high 23 points. Naima Jackson had 17 points while Arianne Whitaker set a Big South first round record with 19 boards.
Kilpatrick scored five of the Eagles’ first seven points as the lead exchanged hands three times in the opening six minutes before High Point led 10-7 after the first media timeout. The Panthers closed the first period on a 9-4 run behind buckets from Edwards and Shea Morgan.
The Panthers jumped out to a 7-2 run to start the second period, capped by Kennedy Currie’s 15-footer that made the score 26-13 and forced Winthrop to burn a timeout. High Point extended its lead to as much as 17 with 2:57 remaining in the first half until the Eagles cut the deficit to the eventual 37-23 score at the break.
Keys led HPU with eight points at intermission, while Naima Jackson posted nine points for Winthrop. Whitaker (7) and Kilpatrick (7) were the other scorers for the Eagles. Whitaker added seven boards.
The Panthers moved ahead by 21 at 47-26 on Edwards’ layup, and the Panther defense limited the Eagles to one field goal and three points the first six minutes of the third period. High Point maintained a sizeable lead early in the fourth at 55-37, but CiiCii Buford hit a three from the corner to cut the deficit to 15.
The Eagles continued to chip away at the lead as a Kilpatrick bucket made it a 13-point game with 4:56 left, and it was an 11-point game in the fourth. But the Panthers continued to limit Winthrop’s chances, and finished with a Big South first round record 59 team rebounds.