ELON, N.C. – A stingy defense effort helped the Elon women’s basketball team to its fourth straight win on Monday night, Jan. 23, in Alumni Gym, as the Phoenix registered a 57-43 win over Triad rival UNCG.
Elon improves to 10-9 overall and 6-4 in Southern Conference play with the victory, while the Spartans fall to 3-15 (2-8 SoCon) with the setback. Elon has held its opponent below 50 points in three straight games and five times overall this season.
Ali Ford knocked down three shots from long distance in the win and is now tied with Lorretta Lawson with 234 career three-point makes, the most in school history. Ford finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists.
“Tonight was a good win but we know there is still room to grow and improve moving forward,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We did a good job of getting the ball inside and trying to capitalize on mismatches tonight. We know what our potential looks like from having played so well in Europe this past summer and we’re starting to get to that point as we get healthy and keep gelling as a unit.”
Kelsey Evans recorded her second straight double-double in the win after finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Evans is averaging 13 points and 13.5 rebounds over the last two games.
Aiesha Harper finished with 12 points and a game-high five assists for the Phoenix, while Kelsey Harris just missed her first career double-double with 11 points and nine boards.
The Phoenix’s inside presence proved to be too much for the Spartans, as Elon won the battle on the boards, 47-40, and outscored UNCG in the paint, 32-22.
The Phoenix took a seven-point lead at intermission after a Harris reverse layup as the buzzer sounded made it a 29-22 game.
Elon shot at a 46-percent clip in the opening frame on 12-of-26 field goal attempts while limiting UNCG to 27 percent shooting.
Lisa Archie gave Elon a 15-point lead with 8:18 to play in the second half after Ford hit her under the basket near the baseline for an easy layup to make it a 48-33 game. Archie went for nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 3-of-7 shooting from the free throw line in her first game since Dec. 28.
The Phoenix went on a 17-3 run over an eight-minute stretch in the second half and held UNCG two only two field goal makes for nearly 10 minutes in the final frame.
Elon’s defense limited UNCG to 26 percent shooting on 17-of-66 field goal attempts, including a 2-of-12 clip from beyond the arc.
The Phoenix hits the road for its next two games, beginning with a 3 p.m. tilt on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Samford.