GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team secured a season sweep of the UNCG Spartans on Monday night, Feb. 6, in Fleming Gym, as the Phoenix cruised to a 69-50 win over its Triad rival.
Elon improves to 12-11 overall and 8-6 in Southern Conference play with the win.
“I’m excited about the way we’re playing as a unit right now. Everyone is playing within themselves and doing what they are capable of doing and knowing what they’re good at,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I’ve felt throughout the season that when we click on all five cylinders at the same time we can be a special team and we’re beginning to see that. I’m very proud of these ladies for battling for 40 minutes to get the win tonight.”
Elon shot 48 percent from the field, a season-best in 14 conference games. The Phoenix limited the Spartans to 24 percent shooting in the win, including a 1-of-12 clip from beyond the arc.
Ali Ford moved into fifth all-time in program history in scoring in the victory, passing former Elon great Holly Andrews. Ford scored 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field, including a 4-of-9 mark from three-point land. Ford now sits at 1,420 career points and is 39 shy of passing Elon Hall of Famer Donna Trollinger for fourth in program history.
Kelsey Evans just missed recording her 20th career double-double, as the Raleigh, N.C., native ended the evening with 11 points and nine boards. Evans also registered three blocks in the victory.
Aiesha Harper tied a career-high with eight assists to go along with seven points and five boards. Harper dished out eight assists earlier this season against Wagner on Dec. 29.
Greensboro native Sam Coffer tied Evans with a game-high nine rebounds for the Phoenix, a season-best for the freshman, as Elon won the battle on the glass, 47-41.
The Elon reserves outscored its counterparts, 16-14, as Zora Stephenson knocked down both of her attempts from long distance to lead the Phoenix bench with six points.
The Phoenix forced a UNCG timeout with 7:10 to play in the first half after an 8-0 run capped off by a Kelsey Harris transition layup gave Elon a 19-17 edge. Harris finished the night with eight points and a game-high four steals.
Behind a raucous maroon and gold contingency in the crowd, the Phoenix took a 33-24 lead at intermission, limiting UNCG to 21 percent shooting in the opening frame on 7-of-33 field goal attempts.
UNCG stormed out of the locker room with an 8-0 run to pull within one, 33-32, after Janae’ Stevenson split a pair from the charity stripe. The Spartans tied the game at 41-all with 11:11 to play after a Jarae Savage layup.
But it was all Elon from that point forward, as Coffer hit a pair of free throws with less than three minutes to play to give Elon a 58-48 lead.
The Phoenix held UNCG without a field goal for the final 5:13 of the game, closing the contest on an 18-3 run.
Elon returns home on Saturday, Feb. 11, when it hosts instate rival Davidson in a key SoCon matchup. Tip is set for 2 p.m. inside Alumni Gym. Hear more about Saturday’s game tomorrow night at Elon Basketball Live from 6-7 p.m. at the Fat Frogg.