Colonial Center Columbia Sc
December 4, 2009 by USA Post
Panthers vs. South Carolina: The High Point University women’s basketball team head south to play the University of South Carolina in non-conference action Wednesday at 11 a.m., at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. HPU will look to bounce back from a 76-52 loss at Wake Forest which dropped the team to 2-2 on the season.
Game Coverage: The game between High Point University and South Carolina will be televised regionally on SportSouth and Fox SportsNet Atlantic.
The Opponent: South Carolina comes into the game against the Panthers with a 3-3 record and wins over Charlotte, Penn State and No. 23 San Diego State. The Gameccks are returning home after going 1-2 at the Paradise Jam in the US Virgin Islands. USC lost to both No. 20 Oklahoma and No. 5 Notre Dame before picking up the 58-55 win over San Diego State. Sophomore forward Charenee Stephens came off the bench against the Aztecs to lead all scorers with 20 points. The Gameccks currently feature four players averaging double-digit scoring this season, led by freshman center Kelsey Bone who is averaging a team-best 16.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Just behind Bone is junior guard Valerie Nainima, who averages 16.5 points per game and sophomore guard La’Keisha Sutton who averages 11.3 points per game. Stephens and her 10.8 points per game round out USC’s double-digit scorers.
The Series: South Carolina leads the all-time series, 4-1, and has won the last three meetings between the two teams. The Panthers last win in the series came on Dec. 22, 1978, when HPU squeaked out a 69-68 win at the UNC Christmas Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Last Time Out: Junior Amy Dodd (Apex, N.C./Apex) scored 15 points, including 11 in the second half, and had four steals as the High Point University women’s basketball team fell to Wake Forest, 76-52, Wednesday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Panthers trailed by just eight with about eight minutes remaining before the Demon Deacons pulled away for the win. HPU shot 38.9 percent (21-54) in the game and were just 2-12 from behind the arc. The Demon Deacons shot 44.4 percent (28-63) including a 6-12 mark from three-point range. Senior Ashlee’ Samuels (Wytheville, Va./George Wythe) set new season highs with nine points and a team-best six rebounds and juniors Mackenzie Maier (Charleston, W.Va./Charleston Catholic) and LaTeisha Dean (Virginia Beach, Va./Green Run) each added seven points for High Point in the loss. WFU controlled the glass in the game, outrebounding the Panthers 50-23. The two teams traded baskets throughout the second half as the Wake Forest lead fluctuated from eight to 12 points. With seven minutes remaining, the Demon Deacons finally managed to pull away, finishing the game on a 20-4 run to pick up the 76-52 win.
An All-Around Threat
Amy Dodd led High Point with 15 points and four steals against Wake Forest, making it the third time in four games that the junior guard has broken double digits in scoring. She is currently second on the team with an average of 10.8 points per game, six points better than her career average entering the season. Dodd has done a little of everything for the Panthers, she is leading the team in rebounding with six rebounds a game and is tied for second with seven steals on the year. She is also one of two players to start all four games for HPU this season and she leads the team with an average of 35 minutes per game.
With her five blocks against Youngstown State, junior Mackenzie Maier became HPU’s Division I career blocks leader. Maier moved past former Panther Mary Brewer who set the record with 134 blocks from 1999-02. Maier has been a prolific shot blocker since stepping on to campus, blocking 47 shots as a freshman and an HPU Division I record 84 as a sophomore last season. The junior has led the team in blocked shots 32 times in her career and her five blocks against YSU marked the fourth time in her career that she has blocked at least five shots in one game. She currently leads the team with seven blocks on the season, giving her 138 for her career.
The Long Bomber
Junior Jurica Hargraves (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) has hit five three pointers this season to move into third in HPU’s Division I record book for career three-pointers with 123. She needs just 16 to break the career record of 138 which was set by Candyce Sellars from 2003-07. The junior’s .348 career shooting percentage from behind the arc in the best mark in High Point Division I history and her 353 career attempts are fourth most.
Deep and Talented
The High Point bench has proven to be a major advantage for the Panthers this season. HPU’s bench has outscored its opponents 136-43 through the first four games. Against Navy, High Point’s bench outscored the Mids’ 25-4 and against Youngstown, the Panthers had a 38-1 edge in bench scoring. Sophomore Shamia Brown (Raeford, N.C./Hoke County) is currently first on the team in scoring (11.8 ppg) and tied for second in rebounding (4.5 rpg) while coming off the bench in three of HPU’s four games. Against UNC Greensboro, she led all scorers with 20 points in the contest.
High Point has excelled at the free throw line through the first three games, shooting 72.9 percent (62-85) from the charity stripe. Mackenzie Maier is a perfect 100 percent (10-10) from the line this season, good for first in the Big South while freshman Erin Reynolds (Beckley, W.Va./Woodrow Wilson) is currently third with an .846 free-throw percentage (11-13). Jurica Hargraves (5-5), LaTeisha Dean (2-2) and freshman Laura Whitt (Princeton, W.Va./Princeton Senior) (2-2) are all perfect from the line, but have not taken enough shots to qualify in the Big South statistics.
A Double-Double for Maier
Mackenzie Maier began the 2009-10 season with a statement, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Navy to record her first double-double of the season and the fifth of her career. Maier led the team in both categories and her 11 boards were most for either squad. Maier led the team in scoring in each of the Panthers’ two games at the Phoenix Classic, following her 14-point performance on Friday with a 16-point performance on Saturday against Youngstown State.
Jurica Hargraves needs just 200 points to break 1,000 for her career. She would be the third HPU player to break 1,000 points since the Panthers moved to Division I in 1999. Hargraves is currently fifth in High Point’s Division I record book with 787 career points. Her 419 points scored last season was the highest single-season total in High Point’s Division I history. Hargraves is also second in High Point’s Division I history with a 12.3 points per game career average. Only Charlena Martin (2003-05) has a higher per-game average (13.2 ppg).
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