Elon Women’s Basketball Phoenix Battles in Final Minutes to Post Win Over Campbell

Posted by Press Release on December 21, 2013 at 7:01 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Back-to-back threes by Zora Stephenson with just over three minutes left in the game gave the Elon women’s basketball team the boost it needed to pull out a 56-49 win over Campbell tonight, Dec. 20, in Alumni Gym.

The Phoenix trailed by four, 49-45, with 4:47 left in the game before Stephenson hit her third three of the game at the 3:21 mark to pull within one. Elon took the lead for good 40 seconds later when Stephenson banked a three to put the maroon and gold ahead 51-49. A layup by Jenifer Rhodes with 1:26 remaining and free throws by Stephenson in the final 12 seconds secured Elon the seven-point victory.

“It’s a great win for us,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “Campbell is a very good team and it was one of those games where we had to dig really deep and fight. I’m proud of the team, the effort and the focus we had in the last four minutes of the game. I think we’re still in the process of trying to find chemistry and rhythm, but I like what I saw in those final minutes. I feel like we did a good job of executing and were focused and sharp defensively.”

Elon finished 24-of-61 from the field to shoot 39 percent on the evening. Stephenson tallied all four of the Phoenix threes on the night as the team only shot 19 percent (4-of-21) from long range, but all at the right time as it gave the maroon and gold the lift it needed to take the lead and finish the game.

On defense, Elon posted a season –highs of 14 steals and 10 blocks, while also forcing 25 Campbell turnovers. The Phoenix turned those turnovers in to 29 points, while the Lady Camels only scored six points off turnovers.

Campbell, who was held scoreless by the Elon defense in the last four minutes of play, shot 35 percent from the field after going 19-of-54, including eight threes (35 percent). The Lady Camels’ saw 17 points from D Janelle Brown who hit five threes in the game. Campbell took the slight advantage on the boards over the Phoenix, 40-36.

Stephenson posted a team-high 15 points, while Rhodes tied a career-high in field goals after she went 7-of-9 and scored 14 points. Kelsey Harris set a new career-high with seven steals, dished out five assists and hauled down a team-high seven boards. Sam Coffer blocked a career-high five shots, while Jessica Farmer and Harris each contributed two blocks.

With the Lady Camels leading, 9-8, four minutes into the game, a jumper by Rhodes started a steak of six straight to give the Phoenix a 14-9 edge. Elon pushed its advantage to 10, 24-14, at the 7:29 mark after an offensive rebound and layup by Shannen Cochraham. Campbell responded with a 12-0 run to go up 26-24 with just over two minutes to play in the half before an old-fashioned three point play by Autumn Carter with 29 seconds left put Elon ahead, 27-26. A free throw by CU’s Gaines tied the score at 27-all at intermission.

Elon shot 39 percent in the first half, while Campbell put up a 44 percent mark from the field, including 44 percent from three-point range.

In the second half, Campbell held as much as a four-point lead, 37-33, before Stephenson started to hit from long range and tied the game at 41-all with 10:55 remaining. Baskets by Rhodes and Lauren Brown kept the Phoenix within striking distance, but the Lady Camels had an answer every time until Stephenson hit the first of her back-to-back triples with less than three and a half minutes to play.

The game saw eight ties and the score change a total of 13 times.

Elon will play again in Alumni Gym on Sunday, Dec. 22, when it hosts Mount Olive in a 2 p.m. game.

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