Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball Falls to Wildcats in SoCon Semis

Posted by Press Release on March 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The three-seeded Elon women’s basketball team’s time in the Southern Conference Tournament came to an end today, March 10, after a 71-61 semifinal loss to second-seeded Davidson in the U.S. Cellular Center. The Wildcats advance to the championship game with a 21-11 record, while the Phoenix holds an 18-13 record.

“I’m extremely proud of my team and I feel like we fought the entire 40 minutes,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We got ourselves in a big deficit in the first half and we had to continue to fight from there. We didn’t pick a great time to not play our best basketball and we didn’t control the things that we can control, which is defense and rebounding. We’re still hopeful for post-season play and hoping that this journey continues.”

Elon finished 26-of-64 from the field to shoot 39 percent with a 25 percent clip from long distance. Davidson recorded one more shot and make than the Phoenix, 26-of-65, to record a 40 percent shooting mark and went 29 percent from beyond the arc after no threes in the second half.

Shannen Cochraham was near unstoppable for the maroon and gold, recording a new career high of 14 points after connecting on 7-of-8 from field goal range. The sophomore also hauled down six boards.

Kelsey Evans led the team with 16 points and four blocks, while grabbing six rebounds. She is 13 boards shy of reaching 1,000 for her career. Ali Ford finished with 10 points to move her seven away from the 2,000-career point milestone. Kelsey Harris led the team on the glass with eight rebounds and five assists.

With just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half, a three by Evans cut a Davidson lead to 10, 23-13. The Wildcats led by the same amount, 31-21, until an Evans’ layup started an 8-3 run by the Phoenix, which was capped by a Cochraham basket with three minutes on the clock, to make the deficit only five, 34-29. Davidson was then able to score two baskets before the break and make it a nine-point game, 28-29, after the first 20.

Both squads shot 42 percent from the field during the first frame, but the difference came from beyond the arc with Davidson shooting 46 percent and Elon 25 percent. Cochraham went a perfect 5-of-5 to lead the Phoenix with 10 points at half.

Evans opened the second half with a jumper to pull the maroon and gold within seven, 38-31, before the Wildcats managed to make it a 50-34 game. Elon answered with 14-2 run, including back-to-back threes by Ford and Zora Stephenson, to close the gap to four, 56-50, after a Ford jumper with 5:05 on the clock.

The maroon and gold was not able to get any closer than that as the team trailed by six with a minute left and was forced to foul and send the Wildcats to the free throw line. Davidson was successful at the charity stripe to hold on for the win.

Elon will await its post-season playing fate as the college basketball season begins to wind down this week.

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