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High Point University’s Lalmani Simmons is fouled by Longwood’s Milou Vennema as she drives to the basket during Tuesday’s game at the Qubein Center.

HIGH POINT — Trailing for the entire second half, the High Point University women’s basketball squandered its chances to mount a comeback and fell to Longwood 77-64 in the Qubein Center on Tuesday.

“That was a tough one,” HPU coach Chelsea Banbury said. “We just can’t give 77 points in a game and expect to win. We had too many breakdowns defensively, took many breaks and just had too many lapses in the mental side of the game, and those were easy points for them every single time. There were too many breakdowns to beat a team as good as Longwood. We’ll come back, regroup and see what we can do.”

The Panthers (96-11, 3-3 Big South) did manage to go on an eight-point run to take their biggest lead at 29-26 with 2:47 left in the first half.

Longwood then scored 11 of the last 12 points of the first half and the first bucket of the second half to go 40-30 and the Panthers never got closer than six, the last time at the end of the third quarter.

Kyla McMakin, who scored a game-high 25, hit three big shots as the Lancers (10-10, 7-2) opened up the lead. She scored a layup off a turnover to make it 32-29, nailed a 3 at the end of the half to put the Lancers up 37-30 and canned the 3 at the start of the second half.

McMakin came in as Longwood’s leading scorer at 18.4 points per game

“She got two catch-and-shoot 3s,” Banbury said. “We weren’t paying attention and lost her. They ran a play at the end of the half and we called that it was coming, and Jenson (Edwards) had been doing an excellent job for us but she gave her three feet of space and (McMakin) knocked down that 3. Those are the things that you can’t do. If you are supposed to be attached to her, you have to be attached to her. If the ball’s live, she’s going to be ready to shoot like that. And then the tougher shots start going in because she gets in a rhythm.”

Longwood opened the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run to lead 68-56 with just over five minutes to play. HPU cut the lead to 68-60 with 4:22 to go and held the Lancers to just two points over 3:33 but couldn’t convert on the other end and only cut the lead to seven before Long put the outcome away in the final minute.

HPU forced eight turnovers in the final period but hit just 4 of 16 shots that included 1 of 8 from 3.

“We had a stretch where I felt we were going to make a comeback and we’d do something like throw the ball away or do something stupid that would be a wide open shot for them at the other end,” Banbury said. “Maybe I need to call more plays. I’d prefer not calling sets because you are harder to guard, but with us not moving like we tonight, maybe I need to.”

Cydney Johnson and Claire Wyatt scored 15 each for the Panthers and Jordan Edwards had 10. Jenson Edwards pulled down 11 rebounds and scored nine points.

Tra’dayja Smith added 19 that included eight in the fourth quarter for Longwood. Akila Smith had 13 and Adrian Shipp had 10.

Jaden Wrightsell did not play for the Panthers after tweaking a muscle in warmups.

“She felt a pull in her calf and wasn’t able to go tonight,” Banbury said. “We weren’t planning on that one. It affected the game in a few areas.”

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