CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team picked up its first Southern Conference win of the season with a strong 64-48 final at Western Carolina today, Dec. 3. Three Phoenix players scored in double figures, led by 14 from both Kelsey Evans and Ali Ford, as Elon improves to 3-3 on the season (1-1 SoCon), while the Catamounts fall to 3-4 (1-1 SoCon).
“I liked the intensity we had from the start of the game,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I felt like we executed our game plan defensively and got off to a great start. It was a great win. I think it will give us a lift and the confidence that we need going in to our next game.”
The Phoenix shot a season-high 50 percent from the field off 15-of-29 attempts and outscored the Catamounts in the paint, 34-20. The defense kept WCU to 24 percent from the field as the Catamounts only connected on 16-of-65 from short range and went 5-of-17 from beyond the arc. The maroon and gold also won the advantage on the glass, 43-36.
Ford scored in double figures for the fifth straight game of the season and tied her career-high of eight assists in her 100th game as a Phoenix. Evans recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 10 boards to go along with her 14 points.
Kelsey Harris also scored in double figures with 11 points, while rookies Autumn Carter and Jessica Farmer each contributed eight.
With Elon leading by seven in the first half, 13-6, a jumper by Farmer at the 10:39 mark ignited a 15-5 run to put the maroon and gold at a 17-point advantage with just under four minutes remaining. A three by Ford with 34 seconds left put the Phoenix up by 16, 36-20, at halftime.
Elon shot a blistering 57 percent from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes and 51 percent from the field.
In the second half, the Catamounts cut its deficit to 14 after a 12-9 run to make it a 58-44 score with five minutes remaining. Despite the fight from WCU, Elon was able to maintain its strong edge and win the game by 16.
Elon will take a break from conference competition for its next three games. The Phoenix will take on Atlantic Coast Conference opponent NC State in its next contest on Sunday, Dec. 9, in Raleigh, N.C. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m.