Late Comeback Not Enough for Elon Women’s Basketball Phoenix at Davidson

DAVIDSON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (5-10, 1-3 SoCon) came close to erasing a 16-point deficit in the second half but was not able to get past Davidson (7-9, 4-1 SoCon) as the Phoenix fell, 67-62, today, Jan. 11, in Belk Arena.

A three by Stephenson with 51 seconds left on the clock put the Phoenix within three, 63-60. Davidson’s Laura Murray missed two free throws to give Elon the ball with 36 ticks remaining, but the Phoenix turned the ball over and the Wildcats were able to convert four free throws to finish the game.

“We need to forget this one because there’s nothing we can do about it to change the results now,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We can learn from it and become a better team. But we’ve got to come out prepared from the jump ball. I felt like we did a tremendous job of playing the last 30 minutes of the game. We can’t get ourselves in such a deep deficit to where we are having to fight the whole time to get out of it.”

Davidson finished 22-of-54 from the field, including seven threes, for a shooting percentage of 41 percent, while Elon shot 46 percent in the second half to hold a 37 percent game mark (23-of-62). The Phoenix went 16-of-25 from the charity stripe to finish 64 percent. The Wildcats grabbed just two more boards to finish ahead the maroon and gold in rebounds, 40-38.

Elon saw a team-high 18 points from Kelsey Harris who finished with six field goals. Lauren Brown scored 15 points and tied two career highs with six field goals and five assists. Stephenson also finished in double figures with 11 points and three three-pointers.

The Wildcats’ Hannah Early posted a game-high 22 points, while Murray totaled 20 points in the game.

A three by Stephenson and a pair of made free throws from Brown helped the Phoenix to a 5-2 lead in the first few minutes. The Wildcats then managed a strong run to take a 20-7 advantage before a long-range jumper by Jessica Farmer ended Elon’s scoring drought at the 12:49 mark.

With the Wildcats holding 30-13 lead with 4:46 to play in the half, a layup by Harris started a 9-0 run for the Phoenix, cutting the deficit to eight, 30-22. Elon held Davidson to only one field goal in the final 8:30 of the first frame and trailed 35-23 at the break.

Elon shot 28 percent in the first 20, while Davidson hit 14 field goals for a 47 percent mark. The Wildcats held the slight advantage in rebounds, 20-19.

Stephenson hit a jumper towards the beginning of the second frame to bring the Phoenix back within eight, 37-29, but the Wildcats answered immediately with a three from Murray to take back a doubled-digit lead.

Down by 15, 49-34, Harris scored four straight points to start a 15-4 run for the maroon and gold that was capped by a Stephenson three to cut the deficit to six, 54-48, with 4:44 left in the game. After a Davidson basket put the Wildcats ahead by nine, 62-53, layups by Brown and Jenifer Rhodes helped bring the Phoenix back within six, 63-57, in the final two minutes before Stephenson’s banked three with under a minute to go.

Elon will continue its road trip and play at Georgia Southern on Monday, Jan. 13. Tip is at 7 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Ga.