Second-Half Surge Gives Phoenix Women’s Basketball Win Over Spartans

ELON, N.C. – After trailing by 10 points with less than four minutes to play in the first half, the Elon women’s basketball team came back to take a 71-60 win over UNCG tonight, Jan. 14, in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix has now won four straight games and improves to 8-7 this season and 5-1 in Southern Conference play, while the Spartans fall to 3-11 (0-6 SoCon).

“We’re excited to get another win in the conference,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “It’s a confidence builder and we learned that you can’t take any team for granted. UNCG may not have a great conference record, but they are an outstanding team. They came out playing strong and tested us. I felt like in the second half we were extremely focused offensively and defensively and we were also able to control the boards.”

The Phoenix shot 62 percent from the field in the second half, including 55 percent from beyond the arc, while holding the Spartans to a 21 percent shooting clip.

Ali Ford scored a game-high 21 points with 15 coming from a 6-of-10 performance in the second frame. Kelsey Harris recorded the first double-double of her career with 14 points and 10 boards. Kelsey Evans also scored in double figures with 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

Overall, Elon finished 29-of-60 for a 48 percent mark and had its second best three-point percentage in a game this season of 43. UNCG finished 19-of-64 from the field and shot 29 percent after failing to make a three in the second half. The Phoenix bested the Spartans on the glass, hauling down 45 boards to UNCG’s 36.

UNCG led by eight early in the game before a three by Ford cut the deficit to three, 16-13, with 10:38 to play. Elon took its first lead at the 7:03 mark off a Shon Redmond jumper that made it 22-21. The Spartans then used a 10-2 run to take its largest advantage of the game, 34-24. A jumper by Evans ignited a spark of eight straight for the maroon and gold in the last three and a half minutes of the first half to pull within two at the break, 34-32.

Both teams shot 38 percent from the field and brought down 22 boards in the first frame. The Spartans went 4-for-9 from three-point range to shoot 44 percent.

Just nine seconds into the second half, Ford hit a three to keep the momentum going for Elon and added to a 16-2 run, which started with under four minutes to play in the first, that eventually put the Phoenix up by four, 40-36.

After two baskets by Shannen Cochraham, a block and defensive rebound by Jessica Farmer set up a layup by Ford, which she followed up with back-to-back threes to give the maroon and gold an 11-point advantage, 54-43, with 11:30 left in the game.

The Phoenix never lost control from there, going up by as many as 14 before finishing with the 11-point victory.

Elon will go for its fifth win in a row when it hosts Furman on Friday, Jan. 18, in Alumni Gym before hitting the road for two games. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.