ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (15-12, 12-6 SoCon) picked up a defining 75-58 win over Appalachian State (18-7, 12-5 SoCon) tonight, Feb. 25, in Alumni Gym. Not only did the Phoenix win by 17 over the Southern Conference foe, but it also marked the first victory against the Mountaineers in over four years.
“This win is exciting, especially for the seniors because they’ve never beaten App,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I’m thrilled with the fact that we executed the game plan and we had a very balanced attack. We have so many people on our team that are capable of doing so much both offensively and defensively. We’ve talked about what it would be like if this team was clicking on all five cylinders and tonight I thought we were there.”
Elon finished 30-of-59 from the field to shoot an impressive 50 percent, marking its second highest output of the season. The Phoenix also made 6-of-14 shots from long distance (42 percent) and went 69 percent from the charity stripe. The maroon and gold also forced 20 ASU turnovers, which were turned into 30 Phoenix points
The Mountaineers were held to a 40 percent overall shooting clip (24-of-59) and 27 percent from three-point range.
Sam Coffer had a stellar night, going 6-of-8 from the field with a perfect 3-of-3 mark from beyond the arc to finish with 15 points and a season-high four assists. Ali Ford led the maroon and gold charge with 19 points, while Kelsey Evans tallied 18 points and a team-high eight boards.
Jessica Farmer was the fourth Phoenix player to reach double figures, recording 10 points, while also matching her career high of six assists. Kelsey Harris set a new career high after dishing out eight assists, helping Elon to a team season high of 23.
ASU’s Maryah Sydnor was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points, but Elon was able to hold conference scoring leader Anna Freeman to three points in her 31 minutes on the floor.
Trailing the Mountaineers by two, 11-9, at the 11:50 mark in the first half, the Phoenix used a jumper by Evans to spark a 17-2 run. Back-to-back threes by Ford capped the Elon surge to make it a 13-point edge, 26-13, forcing ASU to call a timeout with 6:39 to play.
App State pulled back within eight, 28-20, before Coffer nailed her third three of the night to put the maroon and gold advantage back to double figures. The first frame ended with Elon leading by six, 34-28.
The Mountaineers kept the game tight at the beginning of the second frame, cutting Elon’s lead to one, 40-39, at the 14:51 mark. Holding on to its slight edge, 44-43, the Phoenix then scored 12 straight, with seven points by Ford, as part of a 17-4 run to lead by 14, 61-47, with just over eight minutes remaining.
Elon never looked back, keeping a double-digit advantage through the rest of the contest, and controlling the game by as many as 21, 73-52, after an Evans layup with 2:27 left on the clock.
The last victory for the maroon and gold against ASU came on Feb. 9, 2009. This was the first Phoenix win in the last eight meetings.
Elon will play its final home game of the regular season on Saturday, March 2, when it hosts Davidson at 2 p.m. The game will also mark the last in Alumni Gym for seniors Evans, Ford, Arayael Brandner, Lei Lei Hairston and Shon Redmond.