Comeback Effort Not Enough for Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball

Posted by Press Release on February 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (14-12, 11-6) climbed back from a 15-point second-half deficit to pull within one of Furman (11-15, 7-10), but was not able to pull out the win, falling by a final of 74-71 today, Feb. 23, in Timmons Arena.

“We need to take care of the little things that matter,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We’ve got to start games out focused, which we didn’t do today. I thought we did an excellent job of executing and playing together in the second half. We just need to string some things together. We’re doing a lot of good things, but we need to do it for 40 minutes.”

Despite the loss, Elon shot 47 percent from the field (28-of-59), including 40 percent from beyond the arc. The Paladins finished 28-of-61 for a 45 percent shooting mark and claimed the advantage on the boards, 39-32.

Kelsey Evans led the team with 17 points and three blocks. Ali Ford, who was limited in the first half due to fouls, finished with 15 points and four assists. Zora Stephenson tied a season-high with 14 points, going 4-of-6 from three-point distance.

Down 7-0 to start the game, Evans helped the Phoenix pull within two, 12-10, after scoring six of the team’s first eight points. A jumper by Shon Redmond at the 10:21 mark gave Elon its first lead of the game, 16-15.

The Paladins managed as much as a 10-point advantage towards the end of the first frame, but the Phoenix cut the deficit to eight at the break, 38-30, with a Kelsey Harris layup with 17 seconds left on the clock.

Furman opened up a 50-35 lead five minutes into the second half before a three by Stephenson and a layup by Shannen Cochraham helped bring the game back to a 10-point difference, 56-46.

Elon used a 7-0 run to pull within three, 59-56, after a Stephenson three with 6:08 remaining, but Furman responded with a three by Furman’s Kaitlin Murphy to put the Paladins back up by six, 64-58.

Free throws by Ford with just over two minutes to play made it a three-point game once again, 68-65. With the ball down at the Paladins’ end of the court, Evans blocked a shot by Teisha Griswold allowing Ford to grab the defensive rebound. The senior took the ball to the other end and passed it off to Sam Coffer, who made an easy layup to make it a one-point game, 70-69, with 50 ticks left on the clock.

Furman answered with a layup to move ahead by three, 72-69, with 30 seconds remaining. Elon was not able to score on its next trip down the court and was then forced to foul to get the ball back. However, with only four team fouls so far in the half, the Paladins retained possession until the seventh team foul sent Furman to the line with only five seconds left.

Ford scored a layup as time expired, but it was not enough to earn the win as the Paladins grabbed the three-point victory.

Elon will return home to Alumni Gym to host its final two home games of the season, beginning with Appalachian State on Monday, Feb. 25. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

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