Elon Women’s Basketball Drops 2011 Finale at West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Elon University women’s basketball team dropped its final game of the 2011 calendar year on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 31, as the Phoenix fell 84-36 to the West Virginia Mountaineers inside the WVU Coliseum.

“Boxing out and controlling the boards was key tonight and we didn’t execute the way we needed to in order to win the game,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “Today was a tough and physical game against a quality opponent. The non-conference schedule we’ve played this season will ultimately make us tougher going back into Southern Conference play next week. We’ll need to put this game behind us and focus on our next game against Davidson.”

The Phoenix (6-7) could not find an answer on the boards for the Mountaineers (10-3), who finished the game with a 55-30 advantage on the glass, including 26 on the offensive end.

Zora Stephenson and Ali Ford each finished with a team-high seven points, while Kelsey Evans and Aiesha Harper ended the night with six points apiece. The Mountaineers managed to hold Harper below five assists for the first time in five games.

Elon shot 27 percent from the field on 12-of-45 field-goal attempts, while the Mountaineers knocked down 35-of-79 shots for a 44-percent clip.

The Phoenix jumped out to an early three-point lead with in the first 50 seconds of the game after an old-fashioned three-point play by Harper made it a 3-0 game.

Elon held WVU in check for most of the first half until the Mountaineers closed the opening frame on a 15-2 run to take a 37-17 lead at intermission.

The Mountaineers claimed a 34-17 advantage on the glass in the first 20 minutes, including 19 rebounds on offense.

WVU kept its foot on the gas to open the second half, going on a 17-4 run to claim a 54-21 lead with less than 13 minutes to play.

Elon concludes its six-game road swing on Wednesday night, Jan. 4, when the Phoenix takes on Southern Conference foe Davidson. Tip is set for 7 p.m. inside Belk Arena.