CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A hot-shooting Lady Mocs bench proved to be the deciding factor on Monday night, Jan. 30, in McKenzie Arena, as the Elon women’s basketball suffered an 80-65 setback to Southern Conference-leading Chattanooga.
“I am proud of the way we battled in the second half tonight against a talented Chattanooga team,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We came out of the locker room in the second half more focused and efficient offensively and defensively. Aiesha [Harper] played well tonight and created a lot of opportunities for herself and her teammates and really set the tempo.
We’re definitely excited to get back home on Saturday. We learned a lot about ourselves on this road trip and there are plenty of positives to take away and work on in practice this week.”
Chattanooga’s Faith Dupree had a career night off the bench with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting to lead four Mocs in double figures. The UTC reserves finished the night with 44 combined points.
Elon outscored UTC, 39-37, in the second half, on 48 percent shooting and held the Lady Mocs to a 33 percent mark from the field.
Aiesha Harper finished two points off her career high, ending the night with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field to go along with six rebounds and five assists.
Ali Ford scored 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field, including three makes from long distance, to go along with five boards and five assists. Ford also knocked down all five of her free throw attempts.
Kelsey Evans was the third Phoenix in double figures with 11 points to go along with four blocked shots.
Harper led the Phoenix with 11 points in the opening frame, including a deep three as time expired, but the Lady Mocs led, 43-26.
Elon could not find an answer for the hot hands of Dupree and Meghan Downes in the first half, as the duo scored a combined 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting. As a whole, the Lady Mocs shot at a 55-percent clip in the first 20 minutes.
Harper pulled the Phoenix within 12 points with 16 minutes to play after going coast-to-coast for a layup following a UTC miss to make it a 51-39 game, forcing Lady Mocs head coach Wes Moore to call a timeout.
But that would be as close as Elon would come, as UTC jumped back out to a 17-point lead late in the game and kept the Phoenix at arm’s length.
Elon returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 4, when it hosts Furman at 2 p.m. for its Play4Kay game.