CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team closed out its regular-season road slate in impressive fashion on Monday night, Feb. 20, inside TD Arena, as the Phoenix handed the College of Charleston Cougars a 63-50 setback.
Elon improves to 14-13 overall and 10-8 in Southern Conference play heading into its final two regular season games.
“We were very focused tonight on executing our defensive game plan for all 40 minutes,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I’m really proud of the energy level and passion our team has showed on this road trip and I am very proud of them. We set out to come on the road and win two games and it feels great. These last two home games are crucial for us heading into the [SoCon] tournament.”
Elon held its opponent to 50 or fewer points for the seventh time this year, a feat the team accomplished just four times all of last season.
Aiesha Harper scored a game-high 16 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, including both of her three-point attempts. Harper also knocked down 6-of-7 shots at the free throw line and turned the ball over just once in the win.
The Elon reserved outscored its counterparts, 22-9, as Lisa Archie scored nine points and grabbed six boards in 18 minutes off the bench.
The Phoenix registered 10 total blocked shots in the win, as Kelsey Evans and Kelsey Harris each tallied three.
Elon held College of Charleston to 23 percent shooting from the field, as the Cougars connected on just 15-of-66 field goals.
Ali Ford finished the night with six points, moving her ahead of Elon Hall of Famer Donna Trollinger for fourth all-time in scoring. Ford has now tallied 1,460 career points and is 13 points shy of passing Lou Williamson for third all-time in scoring.
With the seconds ticking down at the end of the first half, Erica Keto helped the Phoenix to a 10-point lead after putting in a layup following a Harper miss to give the maroon and gold a 29-19 advantage.
Stingy defense by the Phoenix proved to be too much for the Cougars to handle in the opening frame, as Elon held CofC to 17 percent shooting on 5-of-29 field goal attempts and 14 turnovers.
Lei Lei Hairston dialed up a three-pointer from the top of the key with less than 16 minutes to play to give Elon a 42-25 advantage, the team’s largest lead of the game at the time.
The Phoenix would go ahead by as many as 19 points in the final frame, but the Cougars made it an eight-point game with 8:38 remaining after Latisha Harris hit a pair of free throws to make it a 46-38 game.
That was as close as the Cougars would come, however. Elon held College of Charleston to just three field goal makes over the final 4:50 of the contest.
Tonight marked the final home game for College of Charleston head coach Nancy Wilson, who has registered over 500 wins in 30 seasons as a head coach.
Elon returns home for its final two regular season games, beginning with a 2 p.m. matchup on Saturday, Feb. 25, versus the Wofford Terriers. Learn more about this weekend’s game tomorrow night from 6-7 p.m. at the Fat Frogg with the next installment of Elon Basketbal Live, hosted by Taylor Durham.