ELON, N.C. – A 29-5 run that spanned just over 14 minutes through both halves helped the Elon women’s basketball team (1-1) to a 74-58 win in its home opener over VCU (0-1) tonight, Nov. 12, in Alumni Gym.
Kelsey Evans recorded a career-high 17 rebounds and finished with 13 points for a double-double. The senior also dished out a career-high four assists and tied her career high of five blocks.
“We got in a rhythm offensively in the second half in terms of execution,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “They went with a zone and we did an outstanding job of finding open players in their zone and sharing the basketball. At halftime we talked about defense and making sure we are communicating. We created offense off of our defense with turnovers and I felt like we were doing some good things on that side of the ball.”
Four Elon players scored in double figures with Ali Ford leading the contest with 21 points. Ford connected on 7-of-11 from the field and knocked down all four of her attempts from the charity stripe. Kelsey Harris and Zora Stephenson tallied 14 and 11 points for the Phoenix, respectively. Newcomer Jessica Farmer scored five points and brought down six boards, while Shon Redmond finished with four steals.
As a team, Elon shot 41 percent from the field and scored 20 points off turnovers. The Phoenix defense recorded 10 blocks and 13 steals to keep the Rams at a 30 percent shooting clip.
With the score knotted at 20 with 10:51 remaining in the half, the Rams scored the next 12 points before a basket by Redmond at the 6:30 mark stopped the VCU run. Down by 10, Elon went on a 12-2 charge, capped by a three from Ford to pull even with the Rams with just over a minute left in the half. A jumper by Redmond with five seconds remaining put the Phoenix on top, 36-35, to end the first 20.
The Phoenix carried that momentum into the second half, opening up a 12-point advantage, 49-37, off a Sam Coffer bucket with 12 minutes to play. A three by VCU’s Jessica Pellechio cut Elon’s lead to seven, 49-42, but back-to-back scores by Ford quickly put the maroon and gold back up by 12 with under 10 remaining in the contest. The Phoenix outscored the Rams 38-23 in the second half to win by a 16-point differential.
Elon continues its four-game home stand when it hosts UNC Wilmington on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.