Paladins Claim Win Over Elon Women’s Basketball Phoenix in Alumni Gym

Posted by Press Release on February 25, 2014 at 6:49 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team was not able to cap its regular season home finale with a win, falling in a tight game 71-66 to Furman tonight, Feb. 24, in Alumni Gym. The Paladins (16-11, 10-6 SoCon) snapped a six-game home winning streak for the Phoenix (13-14, 9-7 SoCon) as it was Elon’s first home defeat of 2014.

“Tough loss for us tonight,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “Definitely didn’t imagine things going this way on our last home stand but I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished throughout the season. Hopefully this loss will spark something in us that will ignite us to make a great run from here on out.”

Elon finished 24-of-63 from the field to shoot 38 percent overall, including a 43 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-7). The Phoenix won the battle on the boards, 42-40, while also tallying seven blocks.

Kelsey Harris, who played her final game in Alumni Gym tonight, led the team along with Jenifer Rhodes as both players notched 17 points. Sam Coffer hauled down a team-high nine rebounds, while Zora Stephenson hit all three of Elon’s three pointers.

The Paladins claimed a 48 percent mark form the field after hitting 28-of-59 shots on the night. Furman also only made three baskets from long distance. Holli Wilkins led the team with a game-high 20 points off nine field goals.

Furman led by as much as nine in the first half, 22-13, at the 9:52 mark before the Phoenix answered with the next five points to make it a four-point game, 22-18, after a jumper by Autumn Carter. With 5:21 on the clock and Furman holding a 29-22 advantage, Elon used an 11-2 run that was capped by layups from Harris and Rhodes to take a 33-31 lead at the break.

Elon shot 46 percent from the field in the first half and hit 9-of-13 chances from the charity stripe for a 69 percent mark. Furman went 42 percent in the first 20, while Elon held the rebounding advantage, 21-14.

The Paladins opened the second half on 9-0 run to regain the lead, 40-33, almost four minutes into the frame. The maroon and gold struggled to make shots as Furman built up an 11-point advantage, 52-63, with 4:30 left on the clock. With less than two minutes remaining, a three by Stephenson and a layup by Rhodes put Elon within five points of the Paladins, 67-62. The Phoenix was forced to foul and stayed alive after a Harris basket with 16 ticks on the clock made it only a four-point deficit, 70-66. However, it wasn’t enough as Furman walked away with the win by five.

Elon will play its two final regular season games next weekend, beginning with a contest at Chattanooga on Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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