Evans Pushes Elon Women’s Basketball to 51-45 Win at Western Carolina

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Kelsey Evans had another monster day in Cullowhee for the second-straight year on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 18, to lead the Elon women’s basketball team to a 51-45 victory over the Western Carolina Catamounts inside the Ramsey Center.

Elon has won its last three games and improves to 9-9 overall and 5-4 in Southern Conference play. Western Carolina falls to 6-11 (1-7 SoCon) with the setback.

Evans registered her third double-double of the season (19th career) in the win after scoring 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and grabbing 15 boards. Evans has grabbed 15 or more rebounds in a game four times in her career, including twice in Cullowhee. Last year at WCU, Evans scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

“I’m proud of the way we fought for all 40 minutes today against a talented team and came out with the win,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We stayed calm and focused down the stretch when we needed to and continued to play great basketball. The girls showed a lot of passion with the way they battled today and this was a great win for us moving forward.”

Today was the second-straight game and fourth time this season Elon has held its opponent to less than 50 points.

The Phoenix limited the Catamounts to 28 percent shooting from the field and won the battle on the boards, 41-38. Elon held every WCU player below double-digits in the win.

Elon dominated in the paint, outscoring Western Carolina 28-14.

The Phoenix shot 40 percent from the field in the win and hit 5-of-14 shots from beyond the arc (36 percent).

Elon held a 29-23 lead at the half after shooting 48 percent from the field and limiting the Catamounts to a 28-percent clip. The Phoenix held a 23-18 edge on the boards at intermission and claimed a 14-8 advantage in points in the paint.

The Catamounts made it a one-point game with 9:42 left in the second half after an Alex Abraham jumper made it a 38-37 game. Rena Wakama gave WCU its first lead of the game with 9:14 remaining after hitting a pair of free throws to make it a 39-38 game.

But Aiesha Harper helped Elon regain the lead with 5:11 to play after drilling a three-pointer from the top of the key to put the Phoenix ahead, 43-42, and force a WCU timeout. Harper finished the game with 10 points and four assists.

Rookie Shannen Cochraham added six points and five boards in 14 minutes off the bench.

Elon is off until Monday, Jan. 23, when it hosts UNCG at 7 p.m.