BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Elon women’s basketball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 28, at the Pete Hanna Center, as the Samford Bulldogs handed the Phoenix a 67-53 setback.
Ali Ford dialed up her 235th career three-pointer with 16:32 to play in the second half, moving her ahead of Loretta Lawson to become Elon’s all-time leader from beyond the arc. After going scoreless in the first half due to foul trouble, Ford exploded for 16 second-half points to lead the Phoenix. Ford knocked down three makes from long distance in the setback and now sits at 237 in her career.
“Ali is a warrior and a competitor and I am so proud of her for accomplishing this record,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “She is an extremely hard worker and this is a great honor for her and our team.”
The Phoenix (10-10, 6-5 Southern Conference) cut a 22-point Samford (12-8, 7-4 SoCon) lead in half with 3:51 to play after a Lei Lei Hairston three-pointer made it a 58-47 game. But that was as close as the maroon and gold would come, as the Bulldogs quickly moved back ahead by 17 with less than two minutes to play after a Paige Anderson three.
“Kudos to Samford for playing a quality game. They’re the defending league champions for a reason and made things difficult for us,” Smith said. “I’m proud of the way we battled in the second half today, but our offense was too stagnant at times and we relied too much on playing one-on-one basketball. There are positives we’ll take away from today moving forward into Monday night’s game.”
Aiesha Harper was the only other Phoenix player in double figures after scoring 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, while Hairston finished the day with six points and five boards in 12 minutes of action.
Turnovers proved to be the difference in the game, as the Bulldogs turned 23 Elon turnovers into 24 points, compared to the Phoenix’s four points off 18 Samford turnovers.
Samford put three in double-digits in the game, led by Anderson’s game-high 22 points.
The Bulldogs led 31-19 at the break after capitalizing with 14 points on 15 turnovers by the Phoenix in the opening frame. The Phoenix shot 38 percent in the first half and limited Samford to 37-percent shooting.
Samford took its largest lead of the game with 14:28 to play in the second half after Shelby Campbell put the Phoenix behind, 47-25.
The Bulldogs edged the Phoenix on the glass, 38-30, and outscored Elon in the paint, 26-20.
Samford knocked down nine three-pointers and shot at a 44-percent clip from the field while limiting Elon to 39 percent shooting.
Elon shuffles off to Chattanooga, Tenn., for a Monday night contest against preseason league favorite UTC at 7 p.m. inside McKenzie Arena. The game will be featured on ESPN3.