Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball Falls in Heartbreaker at Furman

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Furman’s Sarah Durdaller hit a three with nine ticks left on the clock to lift the Paladins to a 66-65 win over the Elon women’s basketball team today, Jan. 25, in Timmons Arena.

Elon (8-11, 4-4 SoCon) finished 24-of-66 from the field to shoot 36 percent, including 46 percent from long distance off five threes. The defense forced 23 Paladin turnovers, while the Phoenix only turned the ball over a season-low 13 times.

The maroon and gold saw four players in double figures, led by 15 points from Lauren Brown. Jenifer Rhodes posted 14 points, just one short of her career high, as well as seven boards and three blocks. Sam Coffer hit three three-pointers to score 13 points, while Kelsey Harris finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Furman (11-8, 5-3 SoCon) shot 42 percent from the field (25-of-60) and finished with the advantage on the boards, 49-38. The Paladins’ Holli Wilkins led all scorers with 17 points.

“I felt like we were getting good looks offensively and scoring but we never got a chance to break their rhythm defensively and pull away,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “The positives that we take away from this is that we found a way to continue to get offensive consistency in the first half, even though we were in foul trouble. Furman played an outstanding game. I felt like we played a great game. I think the biggest thing is that we need to get rest, get focused for Wofford and let this one go. We played great and just lost it in the end.”

Elon started the first half with a quick 8-2 advantage, forcing a Paladin timeout within the first two minutes of the game. The Phoenix gained its biggest lead of the half by 11, 15-4, after Harris stripped Furman’s Janice Roberts of the ball and turned it into a layup at the 16:48 mark. The Paladins would answer and even the score at 17-all with 12:33 to play. With the score still tied, 24-all, a three by Coffer started a 10-4 run for the maroon and gold that returned Elon to as much as a six-point lead, 34-28, with less than four minutes remaining in the half.

The Phoenix took a 36-32 edge at intermission after shooting 33 percent in the first frame, including 50 percent from three-point range. Furman shot 34 percent from the field and outrebounded Elon, 30-25.

In the second half, back-to-back baskets by Farmer gave the Phoenix a 47-38 advantage with 14:48 on the clock. The Paladins would slowly chip away at the Elon lead and use an 18-6 run during a 10-minute span to go up by four, 57-53, with 4:15 remaining.

Harris converted an old-fashioned three-point play after a layup to regain the lead for the Phoenix, 61-59, with 1:27 left to play. With the score at 61-all, Brown sank a three to put Elon back on top, 64-61, with just over a minute left on the clock. A free throw by Harris kept the Phoenix at a two-point advantage, 65-63, with 40 ticks left before Furman’s second attempt at a three in the next offensive possession went in with only nine seconds left.

Elon will play its next game as part of Wofford’s Education Day on Monday, Jan. 27. Tip is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in Spartanburg, S.C.