Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball Wins Big Over UNCG Spartans

Posted by Press Release on February 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team began the month of February on a strong note with an 80-57 win over local Southern Conference rival UNCG today, Feb. 1, in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix improves to 9-12 on the season and 5-5 in SoCon play, while the Spartans fall to 5-16 (1-9 SoCon).

With assistant coach Cristy McKinney acting as head coach for the game due to deaths in head coach Charlotte Smith’s family, Elon finished the game 36-of-65 from the field to shoot 54 percent, including going 8-of-15 from three for another mark of 54 percent. The team saw a season-high 22 assists and spread the ball around with four players in double figures.

Zora Stephenson scored a game-high 18 points off a 7-of-12 day from the field. Lauren Brown also recorded seven field goals for 15 points and handed out a career-high seven assists. Kelsey Harris posted 10 points, another seven assists and a team-high six rebounds, while Jessica Farmer finished with 12 points.

UNCG shot 35 percent from the field off a 23-of-66 performance. The Spartans struggled from beyond the arc only hitting 3-of-12 for a 25 percent mark. UNCG claimed the rebounding advantage, 47-38. Janae’ Stevenson led the Spartans with a double-double off 16 points and 14 rebounds.

“I think this team was really motivated today to get a win for Coach Smith. She means so much to this program and cares so much,” said McKinney. “I loved our fight today and this team can be this way every game. We’re better than we played last weekend and we are a better team when we’re aggressive. I thought we did a great job of being aggressive both offensively and defensively.”

With the Phoenix leading by one in the first half, 8-7, a jumper by Farmer started an 8-0 run to extend the advantage to nine, 16-7, with 14:53 on the clock. A three by Sam Coffer at the 9:53 mark capped a streak of nine straight for the maroon and gold, giving Elon a 25-11 edge.

Elon led by as much as 19 points in the first frame, 38-19, with under four minutes to play. UNCG went on a 5-0 run to pull within 14, 38-24, but a basket by Harris in the final minute made it a 40-24 Phoenix lead at the break.

The maroon and gold shot 58 percent in the first 20 (19-of-33) and went 40 percent from long distance. The Spartans went 10-of-36 to shoot 28 percent and were held to a 14 percent clip from three. UNCG led on the boards, 26-18, including 18 offensive rebounds.

Back-to-back threes by Stephenson in the first three minutes of the second half gave the Phoenix a 20-point advantage, 48-28. With 12:37 on the clock, Elon started a 13-2 run that was capped by another Stephenson three, her fourth of the game, to extend the advantage to 30, 68-38, with 9:14 remaining.

The maroon and gold’s largest lead came with five minutes left to play after a Coffer three followed a three by Lenaira Ruffin to put the Phoenix up by 32, 76-44. The Spartans managed to end the game on a 11-0 run but it was too little too late as Elon had taken the advantage long before and would not give it up.

The Phoenix will remain home for its next game on Saturday, Feb. 8, as it hosts Georgia Southern in its annual Play 4Kay game. Tip is at 4 p.m. in Alumni Gym and can be seen on ESPN3.

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