ELON, N.C. – Kelsey Evans tied a career-high with 24 points and the Elon women’s basketball team put four in double figures, as the Phoenix registered a 72-59 win over the Wofford Terriers on Saturday, Feb. 25, in Alumni Gym.
With the win and a Furman loss to College of Charleston today, Elon (15-13, 11-8 Southern Conference) clinches the fifth seed in the 2012 SoCon Tournament next week in Asheville. As the fifth seed, Elon will play its opening game on Saturday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. inside Kimmel Arena against the fourth seed.
“We did a lot of great things today. I was pleased with the way we rebounded and took care of the ball for all 40 minutes,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We created offense through our defense all night. We scored 26 points tonight off [Wofford’s] turnovers, so kudos to our players for playing outstanding and focusing in being relentless defensively and making our opponent uncomfortable.”
Elon turned the ball over a season-low eight times in the win, while forcing the Terriers (11-17, 4-15 SoCon) into 15 miscues that led to 26 points.
Evans connected on 9-of-13 field goal attempts in the victory, including a career-best three shots from long distance. The Raleigh, N.C., native also grabbed seven boards.
Kelsey Harris finished with a career-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, while knocking down all four of her attempts from the charity stripe.
With 12 points tonight, Ali Ford tied Lou Williamson for third all-time in career scoring with 1,472 points. Ford hit three shots from beyond the arc in the win and also pulled down five rebounds.
Aiesha Harper, who earned league player of the week honors on Tuesday, finished the night with 10 points, five assists and three steals. The conference’s assist-to-turnover ratio leader, Harper turned the ball over just once and has tallied only two in Elon’s last three games.
Sam Coffer led the Phoenix on the glass, pulling down a career-high 11 boards in 22 minutes of action.
Harris helped the Phoenix to a 12-point lead with 5:37 to play in the first half after a slashing to the basket for a transition layup to give Elon a 28-16 edge.
The Phoenix went into intermission leading 35-24 after turning 10 Wofford turnovers into 16 total points. The maroon and gold totaled six turnovers in the first 20 minutes, but the Terriers managed to cash in just five points off miscues.
Ford gave Elon its largest lead of the game with less than 11 minutes to play after dialing up a three in front of the Phoenix bench to make it a 55-40 game.
April Moorehouse pulled the Terriers within single digits for the first time since the early stages of the first half with 7:04 remaining after splitting a pair of free throws to make it a 57-48 game.
Elon called a timeout with 3:37 to play after the Terriers made it an eight-point game following a Logan Morris three-pointer.
But the Phoenix iced the game down the stretch after knocking down 7-of-8 shots at the free throw line in the game’s final 1:01 to secure the win. Elon shot 70 percent (14-of-20) from the free throw line.
The Phoenix closes out the regular season at home on Monday, Feb. 27, when it welcomes instate rival Western Carolina for a 7 p.m. tip. The team will celebrate Senior Night and the final home contest for Harper, Erica Keto, Jermile’ Batten and Kallie Hovatter.