ELON, N.C. – Another strong performance from freshman Brie Perpignan as she led the Elon University women’s basketball team with 14 points, but the Phoenix could not keep pace with Towson as the Tigers came away with a 59-50 Colonial Athletic Association victory on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Schar Center.
The Phoenix (8-17, 3-11 CAA) concluded its three-game homestand in a competitive contest against the Tigers (17-9, 11-4 CAA). Towson however took advantage of earning twice as many trips to the free throw line as the Phoenix (24-12) with the Tigers going 18-of-24 from the charity stripe. The Tigers also used their size advantage on the glass, finishing with a 43-33 rebounding advantage, including 17 on the offensive end.
Perpignan led the Phoenix in scoring for the sixth time this season and scored in double figures for the 10th time overall. The Alexandria, Va., native shot 5-of-10 from the field and also was 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Ariana Nance tied her season-best with 10 points off the bench while Emily Maupin also added 10.
Towson’s Nukiya Mayo had a game-high 18 points while Qierra Murray added 12 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Kionna Jeter, who came into the game as the leading scorer in the CAA, was held to 11 points.
The Tigers opened the game with a 10-4 run capped off by a layup from Jeter at the 5:40 mark in the first. The Phoenix closed out the quarter on a 8-2 run with key plays from Nance, Saadia Munford and Anna Popovic with Popovic tying the game at 12-12 with a three-pointer prior to the end of the quarter.
After Mayo converted a three-point play to start the second, Elon went on an 8-0 run to take a 20-15 lead. Ariel Colón sparked the run with a three followed by jumpers from Maupin and Perpignan. A Lexi Mercer free throw at the 6:45 mark in the quarter gave the Phoenix the five-point lead, but Towson countered with a 9-0 run to move back in front, 24-20. The Tigers would hit a three-pointer to move them ahead 27-22 with just over a minute left in the half, but Nance converted on a floater right before the horn sounded to bring the Phoenix within three, 27-24, going into the break.
Towson jumped out to a six-point lead to begin the second half, 32-26, but four straight points from Maupin cut the Phoenix’s deficit to two, 32-30, with 5:09 left in the quarter. The Tigers went back up by four, 34-30, but a three-pointer from Nance brought Elon within one. Mayo answered on the other end with a jumper, but Jaylin Powell countered with a three to tie the game at 36-all with 4:18 remaining in the period. Towson closed out the quarter strong however on a 7-0 run to take a 43-36 lead into the final stanza.
A pair of free throws from Perpignan at the 6:32 mark in the fourth brought Elon within four, 44-40. Towson would extend its lead to eight, 48-40, before another Perpignan jumper took it back down to six. A jumper from Mayo and a three from Jeter gave the Tigers a double-digit lead, 53-42, with 2:39 left to play. Back-to-back layups from Perpignan brought the Phoenix’s deficit back under double digits, but Towson hit six free throws to balloon its advantage to 13 with just under a minute left in the game, 59-46. Perpignan scored the remaining four points to set the final score.
The Phoenix travels to Delaware to begin its final road trip of the regular season this Friday, March 1. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time.