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HIGH POINT, N.C. – UNC Asheville senior forward picked up her 1,000th career rebound against Big South Conference foe High Point on Thursday evening, but a second half surge by the home-standing Panthers earned HPU a 49-35 victory over the visiting Bulldogs at the Millis Center.
Kelli Riles finished the contest with 12 points and 11 rebounds, giving her nine double-doubles on the season. She entered the contest with 989 boards. Riles now is also sitting at 992 career points, with four games left to play this year.
With the setback the Bulldogs drop to 2-23 on the season and 0-14 in the Big South. High Point improves to 15-9 overall, and 9-4 in league play.
Cheyenne Parker led the Panthers offensively, finishing with a game-high 13 points after only scoring two in the first half. She also pulled down a game-best 17 rebounds for her 20th double-double of the season.
Paige Love finished with 11 points for the Bulldogs, with Gentry Manley posting nine rebounds in the contest. Asheville converted 12-of-48 field goal attempts, including 1-14 from behind the 3-point arc.
High Point didn’t fare much better, converting 19-of-58 shot attempts for a 32.8 percent average, while hitting 3-of-10 treys.
In the first half both teams struggled shooting the ball, with the Bulldogs and the Panthers each converting just seven field goals. HPU led by as much as four points, when Parker hit a putback layup with 7:45 to go to give the Panthers a 15-11 lead.
The Bulldogs would finish the frame on an 8-0 run, with Riles putting Asheville up 19-15 heading into the half on a reverse layup with 2:11 to play.
The second half saw the Panthers go on an 11-0 run before a Grace Blaylock trey cut the lead to 26-22 with 15:11 to go. HPU eventually pushed their lead to 43-24 with 7:09 to play on a Lindsay Puckett layup, giving the Panthers their largest lead of the night.
The Panthers would hold the Bulldogs at arm’s length the rest of the way, eventually winning 49-35, and outscoring Asheville 34-16 in the second half.
The Bulldogs will travel to Buies Creek, N.C., for their next contest, taking on the Camels of Campbell University on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Camels earned a 73-56 victory over the Blue & White on Dec. 1, in the first Big South Conference game of the season for both schools.