Elon Women’s Basketball Phoenix Battles Back to Take Down Wildcats

Posted by Press Release on February 11, 2014 at 6:36 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team erased a 16-point deficit to claim a 66-63 win over Davidson tonight, Feb. 10, in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix picked up its third straight victory and fifth straight at home to improve to 11-12 on the season (7-5 SoCon), while the Wildcats fall to 12-12 (9-4 SoCon).

“I’m definitely excited to pull this one off and I’m really pleased with the way we came out and played the second half,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I feel like we came out with a lot of momentum and defensive intensity. I think that sparked our offense and we were able to knock down shots in the second half and we were just rolling from there.”

Elon outscored the Wildcats, 44-28, in the second half and overcame a rough first half to shoot 52 percent in the second frame, including 63 percent from three. Overall, the Phoenix went 19-of-54 from the field to shoot 35 percent and went 8-of-17 from long distance for a 47 percent mark. Thanks to a 9-of-10 performance from Sam Coffer at the line, the maroon and gold converted 20-of-28 opportunities for 71 percent.

Zora Stephenson scored a game-high 19 points with the help of five threes and seven total field goals. Coffer finished with 15 points, while Kelsey Harris hit double figures for the third straight game with 14 points.

Davidson finished with a 41 percent mark from the field (41-of-58), but was held to a 3-of-15 mark from three. The Wildcats won the slight advantage on the boards, 41-37.

With the maroon and gold trailing by four in the first half, 9-5, a three by Stephenson pulled the Phoenix within one at the 14:27 mark. That was the closest Elon would get in the first frame as the Wildcats built up a 16-point lead, 35-19. Lauren Brown turned a steal into a fast-break layup with 34 seconds left in the half to make it a 35-22 game at intermission.

The Phoenix struggled offensively in the first 20, going only 7-of-31 from the field for a 23 percent clip. Davidson went 16-of-32 (30 percent) with the help of a 7-of-8 performance and 14 points from Dakota Dukes.

Davidson led 48-33 with 11:20 to play in the game before Elon put together a 13-0 run that included back-to-back-to-back threes by Stephenson, Lenaira Ruffin and Coffer to cut the deficit to two, 48-46, with under nine minutes remaining. The Phoenix regained its first lead since the first minute of the game after a fast-break Stephenson jumper made it 57-56 with 4:41 left.

The Wildcats took back the lead by as much as three points, 60-57, before a pair of free throws by Harris tied the game for the second time and then put Elon ahead, 60-61. Davidson immediately responded with a basket by Dukes but Coffer was sent to the line and knocked down both chances for the Phoenix to take a 63-62 edge with 1:29 left on the clock.

Elon clung to a two-point advantage, 65-63, with the ball in the hands of the Wildcats with less than 30 ticks on the clock. Great defense under the basket by Shannen Cochraham frustrated Davidson and made them miss as Coffer grabbed a rebound with one second to play and was fouled. Coffer hit one of the opportunities to make it 66-63 and leave the Wildcats unable to respond with 00.5 left on the clock.

The Phoenix will head to the mountains for its next game on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Western Carolina. Tip is set for 2 p.m. in Cullowhee, N.C.

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