Elon Women’s Basketball Drops Season-Opener at South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team opened up the regular season tonight, Nov. 9, in Colonial Life Arena as the Phoenix (0-1) fell to the South Carolina Gamecocks (1-0) by a final of 77-44.

“I’m proud of my team and excited for the fight and effort that they put fourth in 40 minutes,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “That’s one thing that we talked about before the game – getting in there and fighting for the whole game and not quitting. There are a lot of things that we can take away from this game in order to be a better team, so it’s always good to play games like this. We’re looking forward to finding some things in how we can be a better team as we move forward.”

The Gamecocks outscored the Phoenix, 22-5, off second chance points and claimed 24 of its 77 points in the paint. The Phoenix and the Gamecocks were fairly even on the glass in the first 20 minutes as South Carolina brought down 16 to Elon’s 15, but USC finished with a 53-33 advantage.

Shon Redmond scored a team-high 10 points, while Kelsey Evans and Ali Ford both finished with eight points. Kelsey Harris led Elon on the glass with nine boards.

Elon shot 29 percent from the field on 16-of-54 field goal attempts, while South Carolina knocked down 31-of-70 shots for 44-percent shooting. The Phoenix kept the Gamecocks from making any of its 14 shots from beyond the arc as Ford and Zora Stephenson banked the only two three-pointers of the game.

The maroon and gold held the advantage at the charity stripe making 10-of-13 shots for 76 percent. The Gamecocks went to the line 30 times and only finished with 15 points.

South Carolina opened the game on a 10-2 run and took its largest lead of the first half of 16 points with 12:43 remaining. The maroon and gold cut the deficit to 11, 27-15, before a jumper by Ford started a streak of six straight for the Phoenix to close the gap to seven, 28-21, with less than six minutes left in the half. South Carolina managed to end the half on a 13-4 run to take a 16-point lead at intermission.

The Gamecocks came out strong at the beginning of the second frame, opening up a 31-point advantage at the 12:07 mark. Elon cut that lead down to 26 points, 64-38, after a 7-2 run was capped by a basket by Redmond. The spark was not enough as USC continued its aggressive play to the final buzzer.

Elon will host the Rams of VCU in its home opener on Monday, Nov. 12. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.