GREENVILLE, S.C. – Shooting woes from beyond the arc proved to be too much for the Elon women’s basketball team to overcome on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 14, as the Phoenix fell 75-60 to the Furman Paladins in a Southern Conference matchup inside Timmons Arena.
The loss snaps Elon’s five-game winning streak versus the Paladins and drops the Phoenix to 4-5 (1-2 SoCon) on the year. Furman improves to 6-3 with the win and remains unbeaten in league play at 3-0.
“I don’t feel like we were consistent enough today to be successful and we just got to a point where our shots were not falling and we compounded that with a lack of defense and rebounding,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We did not shoot the ball particularly well today from the three-point line and that hurt us as well.
Aiesha Harper played consistently well at both ends of the floor today and I’m proud of her performance. It’s a quick turnaround on Monday and we have to put this game behind us and prepare for our next game against Wofford.”
The Phoenix could not find a rhythm from the three-point line, shooting just 12 percent (2-of-17) in the setback, despite coming off one of its hottest performances of the season versus Campbell on Wednesday night from beyond the arc. Elon shot at a 52-percent clip (11-of-21) from three-point land a game ago against the Fighting Camels.
Aiesha Harper led the Phoenix on offense with a season-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 shooting at the line. Harper also added five assists for the Phoenix and has recorded 12 dimes in Elon’s last two games.
Kelsey Harris and Kelsey Evans each added 13 points for Elon, as the Phoenix shot 41 percent from the floor in the game.
The Paladins managed to limit Ali Ford, the league’s leading scorer, to two points in the game. Ford, one of the top three-point shooters in the nation, had her 12-game streak of knocking down at least two three-pointers in a game snapped. The streak was the third-longest in the nation.
Both squads turned the ball over 17 times in the contest, but the Paladins won the battle on the boards 50-34, including 20 on the offensive end.
The Paladins took their largest lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first period after Raegan Thompson hit a three from the corner near the Phoenix bench to put Elon behind, 35-25. Thompson led all scorers with 12 points in the first half.
Shortly thereafter, the Phoenix found itself trailing 36-25 at intermission after the Paladins limited Elon to 38 percent shooting in the opening frame and forced 11 turnovers.
Trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, the Phoenix clawed back within six points and force a Furman timeout with 13:14 to play. Harper made it a 41-35 game after picking off a Furman pass near the three-point line and taking it to the Elon basket for the layup to give the Phoenix momentum.
But the Paladins came back with a 9-2 run over the next 4:11 to take a 50-37 advantage and force an Elon timeout after a Kate Murphy layup gave Furman its largest lead of the game.
The Paladins went up by as many as 17 points in the second half, keeping the Phoenix at arm’s length to secure its third-straight league victory.
Elon returns to action on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.