ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team handed Chattanooga its first Southern Conference loss of the season in an exciting 70-60 overtime victory in Alumni Gym tonight, Jan. 7. The win marked just the third in program history over the Lady Mocs (10-3, 3-1 SoCon) as the Phoenix improves to 3-1 in conference play (6-7 overall).
A layup by Kelsey Evans with six seconds left in regulation tied the game at 58, helping the Phoenix come back from as much as a six-point deficit with under five minutes to play.
In overtime, Elon outscored UTC, 12-2, beginning with five made free throws, including four by Evans. The Lady Mocs’ Ashlen Dewart, who finished with 20 points, put Chattanooga within three, 63-60, but six points for the Phoenix in the span of a minute sealed the win for the maroon and gold.
“This was a huge win for the program,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I felt like we came out tonight focused on the game plan and we did a lot of intangible things that carried us to the win in overtime. Defense and rebounding – those are the two things you can’t control and those are the two things we dominated, especially in overtime. We just executed in the clutch.”
Evans finished the night with her sixth double-double of the season with 19 points and a new career-high 21 boards. The senior also matched her career-high of five blocks.
Ali Ford notched a game-high 21 points to mark her fourth 20+ point game this season. Kelsey Harris contributed 14 points to give Elon three players in double figures.
Elon went 27-of-61 from the field to shoot 44 percent, including 38 percent from beyond the arc. Chattanooga shot 32 percent from the field as the maroon and gold held the Lady Mocs to 26 percent in the second half and to a 12 percent clip in overtime.
The Phoenix went 11-of-15 at the line (73 percent), while UTC finished 6-of-25 (47 percent). Elon also won the battle on the glass, 47-40.
Chattanooga held a 35-32 advantage at half after each team had taken a lead by as much as four at one point in the first frame. The Lady Mocs reached its largest lead of the game of six, 48-42, at the 8:33 mark in the second half, and tried unsuccessfully several times to put the Phoenix away.
A layup by Evans off a pass from Ford put the maroon and gold within four, 55-51, with 3:40 to play. With less than two minutes remaining, an offensive board by Evans made it into the hands of Zora Stephenson, who sunk a three to cut the Elon deficit to one, 55-54.
Another basket by Evans with an assist from Ford gave the Phoenix its first lead of the game, 56-55, since six minute mark in the first half. Chattanooga answered immediately to regain the lead with 42 seconds left, forcing Elon to foul and send UTC’s Alex Black to the line in order for the Phoenix to regain possession.
Black missed the first free throw and made the second with 21 ticks on the clock for it to remain a one-possession game, 58-56. Elon’s Sam Coffer missed a layup for the first tie attempt before Evans grabbed the rebound and put the ball in the basket to send the game into overtime.
Elon will play its third game in five days at Wofford on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Tip is set for 6 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C.