Roderick Mclean | Staff Writer
HU Athletics | HamptonPirates.com
The Lady Pirates have adapted to their new conference, the Big South.
The Hampton University women’s basketball (12-9, 8-2) is in a second-place tie with High Point University in the conference, one game behind Radford.
So far, the Pirates have defeated Charleston Southern, UNC Asheville, Radford, Longwood, Winthrop, Gardner-Webb, South Carolina-Upstate and Presbyterian.
The young Pirates have been playing great defense, and their record shows it. The team was on a three-game winning streak before losing to High Point, 82-73, on Feb. 2. HU bounced back with a 79-62 win over Presbyterian on Feb. 5, with freshman guard Laren VanArsdale scoring 23 points.
Jan. 22, the Pirates scored the first seven points on their way to dominating Winthrop, 84-63. Junior guard Ashley Bates finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Sophomore guard Mahaley Holit contributed 18 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Kaylah Lupoe had 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals. The team shot 50 percent from the floor and 39 percent from the 3-point line. The Pirates outrebounded Winthrop 45-38 and outscored the Eagles 50-14 in the paint.
Jan. 15, the Lady Pirates ran past Longwood University, 66-44. VanArsdale had 14 points and four steals. Bates added 11 points, seven steals, five rebounds and four assists.
In the Big South Conference, the Lady Pirates are first in steals per game, averaging 12.5. They are also second in points per game, with an average of 67.6 points. The Lady Pirates average 13.3 assists per game.
Bates is second in the Big South with 17 points per game. She also leads the conference in steals at 4.5 per game.
Jan. 26, the Lady Pirates edged Gardner-Webb University 82-80 in overtime. VanArsdale scored 26 points. Lupoe had 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
The Lady Pirates took the lead 81-77 with 17.6 seconds left in overtime. After a Pirates turnover, Gardner-Webb hit a 3-pointer, but it didn’t count due to an offensive foul. Holit hit a free throw to seal the victory.
The Lady Pirates, who play host to Campbell at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12, look to take first place in the conference. They are one game behind Radford University.