Johnson Eclipses 1,000-Career Points, Elon WBB Fends Off Delaware 64-51

Posted by Press Release on January 21, 2018 at 7:27 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Malaya Johnson became the 24th member of Elon University’s 1,000-career point club on Sunday, Jan. 21, as the senior led the Phoenix to a 64-51 home victory inside Alumni Gym over Delaware.


“A hard-fought win, it was very, very physical out there,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I’m glad we were able to tough it out and pull out the win. Congrats to Malaya on her 1,000th point, she was beast down there in the low block in the second half and it’s what gave us a much needed lift to get this win.”

Seven games into conference play, Elon has now won back-to-back CAA games and stands at 4-3 in the league and 12-6 overall. Delaware had a five-game winning streak snapped with the loss and now stands at 12-6 on the season and 5-2 in conference play.

Down four at halftime, Elon allowed Delaware to open the second half scoring seven of the game’s 11 points to go up seven at 34-27. After a Nicole Enabosi jumper with 5:13 left in the quarter to put the Blue Hens up 36-30, but the Phoenix closed the third on a 14-4 run to take a six-point lead after three quarters. During the frame, Elon scored 11 straight points at the free throw line before Johnson closed the quarter with back-to-back layups over the course of the final 62 seconds.

Delaware opened the fourth quarter with a 6-2 run that cut Elon’s lead to two at 46-44 with 6:03 to play. But like the third quarter, the Phoenix went on a run – this time 9-0 – to take an 11-point, 55-44 lead. After Delaware had cut the Phoenix lead to two, the Blue Hens scored just seven more points in the final six-plus minutes while Elon finished the game on a 17-7 run to seal the 64-51 win. Down the stretch, Johnson scored eight of her 16 points on the day in the fourth quarter alone and all 16 of per points came in the second half.

Elon went to the break down four after a momentum-changing five-point swing in the final 25 seconds of the first half. With the Phoenix down 27-19, Lexi Mercer hit a pair of free throws with 25 seconds to go. She then picked Abby Gonzales’ pocket in front of the Elon bench with six seconds left and found Meme Garner on the offensive end for a buzzer-beating three-pointer to pull the Phoenix within the halftime margin of four.

Both teams struggled from the floor in the first five minutes of the game with Elon taking a 4-2 lead to the first media timeout. In all, Elon and Delaware both struggled with the Phoenix shooting 15 percent (3-for-20) and Blue Hens 22.2 percent (4-for-18).

Both Johnson and Shay Burnett finished with a game-high 16 points. Johnson closed with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double while shooting 7-of-9 from the floor. Burnett also had seven rebounds and a team-best three assists. Ra’Shika White extended her double-figure scoring streak to 10 games in a row with 10 points.

Lizzie Oleary finished with 13 points off the bench to lead the Blue Hens while pulling down seven rebounds. Samone DeFreese was the only other player in double figures, as she finished with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Nicole Enabosi, who’s averaged 19.4 points and 12.2 rebounds per game this season, fouled out with 3:17 to play after scoring just nine points with nine rebounds.

-Elon’s 29.8 percent from the floor is its lowest shooting percentage in a win this season. The previous low was 32.3 percent against UNCW. The 29.8 shooting percentage in a win is the lowest mark in a victory since beating East Tennessee State 50-38 on Nov. 29, 2015, when it shot 28.8 percent.
-The Phoenix made 17 field goals, the fewest in a single game for Elon win or lose since hitting just 16 shots in a loss to Drexel on Feb. 21, 2016 in Alumni Gym.
-Delaware was whistled for 28 fouls to Elon’s 14. At the free throw line, Elon hit 29-of-36 while Delaware made five of its eight attempts.
-Two Blue Hens fouled out on the afternoon while three other starters each picked up four fouls. Anna Popovicfinished with a team-high four fouls for Elon and Jada Graves had three.
-Delaware had six blocks in the first quarter. It had just two the rest of the afternoon and finished with eight.
-Elon honored former players with a halftime ceremony as part of Alumni Weekend for past women’s basketball student-athletes.

The Phoenix will be back on the road next week when it visits Drexel and Towson. First up is a Friday, Jan. 26, contest in Philadelphia against the Dragons at 7 p.m. before a 2 p.m. tipoff against the Tigers on Sunday, Jan. 28. Drexel is second in the CAA this season with a 6-1 record and is 14-5 overall. The Phoenix beat Towson on Friday, Jan. 19, in Alumni Gym by the final score of 84-61.

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