Late Surge Puts Lady Mocs Past Elon Women’s Basketball Phoenix

Posted by Press Release on December 17, 2013 at 6:20 am under College | Read the First Comment

ELON, N.C. – Shooting woes in the second half caused trouble for the Elon women’s basketball team as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga took control in the final nine minutes of the game and outscored the Phoenix, 66-43, in Alumni Gym tonight, Dec. 16.

“We were not focused to finish the job in the second half,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I thought we played an extremely great first half and we battled with them on the boards. In the second half, we were out of sorts offensively and it was hard to find a rhythm. Defensively, we had a lot missed assignments and disorganization. For these next two games, we’ll use it as an opportunity to find chemistry with (healthy) players back in the mix and find that lineup that meshes really well from the start.”

Elon finished 17-of-54 from the field, with only two threes (18 percent) on the night, to shoot 32 percent. The biggest struggle came in the second half where the Phoenix was held to a 15 percent clip with only four field goals. Chattanooga surged to a 48 percent mark from the field in the second half to hit 28-of-66 overall and shoot 42 percent. UTC scored 38 points in the paint and forced 24 Phoenix turnovers, while also taking advantage on the boards, 44-36.

Kelsey Harris scored 15 points off a 7-of-11 performance and hauled down eight rebounds for the maroon and gold. Jenifer Rhodes also finished in double figures with 10 points after hitting 4-of-6 shots in the game.

Chattanooga’s Ashlen Dewart finished with a game-high 29 points (13-of-16) and 10 boards for a double-double.

With Elon leading by two, 12-10, early in the first half, the Lady Mocs put together a 9-0 run, forcing Smith to call a timeout at the 12:46 mark. Trailing by seven a minute later, 21-14, a pair of free throws by Stephenson sparked eight unanswered points in four minutes for the Phoenix, which was capped by back-to-back baskets by Harris, to regain the lead 22-21.

After a layup by UTC’s Hall put the Lady Mocs ahead by four, 28-24, Elon responded with the next six points for a 30-28 advantage with less than two minutes to play. Chattanooga evened the score before the buzzer to make it 30-all at the break.

Elon shot 46 percent from the field in the first half with the help of a perfect 7-of-7 performance from Harris, who posted 14 points in the first 20 minutes, while Chattanooga shot 37 percent in the first frame.

In the second half, the score remained close in the first 10 minutes with Elon taking the biggest advantage of three points after threes by Ruffin and Coffer. With 8:55 remaining in the game and Elon holding a slight 42-41 edge, UTC began a 19-0 run that spanned five minutes. The Phoenix was not able to recover from the shooting troubles and scored only one field goal in the final 13 minutes of the game, being outscored 36-13 in the second frame.

Elon will continue its four-game home stand on Friday, Dec. 20, against Campbell. Tip is set for 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.

  • Recruit shooters said,

    This team needs players that can actually shoot 3 pointers on a regular basis. We need shooters, shooters and more shooters. War’s are won by shooters not by those that hold and defend the line. Elon stays in game due to its defense but loses because of not enough shooters. Coach – get some shooters to spread the defense and open up the lane. We also need more players that can score off the dribble.