ELON, N.C. – Despite pulling within eight points with less than three minutes to play, the Elon women’s basketball team suffered a 57-47 setback to Drexel tonight, Jan. 6. The game marked the first Colonial Athletic Association game in Alumni Gym for the Phoenix.
“The biggest thing (against the zone) is to focus to execute and stay in the play the entire possession,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I feel like we were trying to rush things too early to score a home run. I think we missed some opportunities to get the ball inside. There were a lot of chances that we didn’t see and I don’t think we did a good job of seeing the floor well against the zone. We rebounded the ball well, which is a good thing, and we held them to 28 points in the first half. The takeaway is that we have to improve offensively”
The Phoenix (8-5, 1-1 CAA) finished 39 percent on the evening from the field (19-of-49) and was held to only 21 percent from beyond the arc. Elon won the battle on the boards, 42-28, and was able to score 15 second-chance points, while also recording 28 points in the paint.
Zora Stephenson finished with a team-high 12 points after hitting all four of Elon’s baskets from long distance. Shay Burnett posted 11 points after a 4-of-7 performance and hauled down six boards. Essence Baucom scored eight points and dished out five assists, while Sam Coffer recorded a team-high nine rebounds.
The Dragons (8-5, 2-0 CAA) went 19-of-53 to shoot 36 percent, including seven threes to hit 39 percent from three. Drexel managed 15 steals in the game and was able to claim 18 points off turnovers. Rachel Pearson led all players with 21 points after five triples on the night, while Sarah Curran tallied 17 points.
Drexel moved out to a 14-point advantage in the opening half, 25-11, with just over two minutes to play. After Stephenson hit Elon’s first triple of the game from the wing at the 1:49 mark, Baucom scored a layup with 14 seconds remaining to bring the Phoenix within nine, 27-18, at the half.
Elon shot 33 percent in the first half and struggled from three with a 13 percent clip, while outrebounding the Dragons, 19-16. Drexel held a 39 percent mark from the field and hit 3-of-7 from three for 43 percent.
Out of the break, Stephenson made a shot from long distance for the first basket of the half and closed the gap to six, 27-21, with 18:37 on the clock. The Dragons rallied and managed to take its biggest advantage of the game, 43-27, at the 8:56 mark.
While the defense held Drexel scoreless for over five minutes, another Stephenson three sparked a run for the maroon and gold with over six minutes to play. Layups by Jenifer Rhodes and Malaya Johnson and another triple by Stephenson brought the Phoenix within eight, 45-37, with 2:52 remaining. The Phoenix was then forced to foul to regain possession and was not able pull any closer before the final 10-point deficit.
Elon travels to William & Mary for its next game on Friday, Jan. 9, for a 7 p.m. tip in Williamsburg, Va.