ELON, N.C. – A 31-18 advantage in the second half put the Elon women’s basketball team past Towson with a 58-43 final today, Jan. 18, in Alumni Gym.
The Phoenix used a 17-0 run that spanned just over seven minutes during the last nine minutes of the second half to overcome a one-point deficit and take the lead by 16 with 1:44 left in the game. The 43 points scored by the Tigers is the lowest-point total against the Phoenix this season.
“I’m very pleased,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We talk about doing the things that you can control – defense and rebounding. I felt like we had a solid defensive effort and we rebounded the ball well. The second half, I felt like we did a really good job of pushing tempo, trying to wear Towson down and executing our offense to get good solid looks. Any time we can push pace, we can get some good things out of transition offense.”
Elon (11-6, 4-2 CAA) finished with a 21-of-57 mark from the field to shoot 37 percent, while being held to 24 percent from long distance. The Phoenix went 11-of-17 from the line for 65 percent but took the advantage on the glass with a season-high 48 rebounds compared to 34 by the Tigers.
Towson (7-11, 3-3 CAA) was held to 28 percent from the field after finishing 16-of-57 and hit 5-of-26 from three for a 19 percent clip.
Zora Stephenson made four of Elon’s five triples on the day for a game-high 16 points, while Essence Baucom tied her career high with 13 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Shay Burnett tallied 11 points and eight rebounds followed by Malaya Johnson tying her career-high 11 rebound mark and also recording seven points.
With the game tied at 14-all with 10:40 to play in the first half, a three by Stephenson moved the Phoenix ahead by three and started a 7-0 Elon run. Off a Stephenson miss, Burnett grabbed an offensive board and converted it to a basket for the first of two straight scores to make it a 21-14 lead for the maroon and gold with 7:31 on the clock.
Elon was forced to call a timeout after the Tigers pulled within two, 22-20, with under five minutes to play. Out of the break, Lenaira Ruffin hit a three from Sam Coffer as the shot clock expired to move the Phoenix back to a five-point advantage.
Towson tied the game for the fourth time of the half at 25-all with 1:44 left before Johnson hit two free throws with five seconds remaining to put the Phoenix ahead, 27-25, at the half.
Elon shot 40 percent from the field (10-of-25) in the first half and held an 83 percent mark from the charity stripe, while also holding the rebounding advantage, 18-14. Towson went 37 percent from the field (10-of-27) and hit three baskets from long distance for 25 percent from three.
In the second half, Elon held a six-point advantage, 38-32, before the Tigers fought back to tie the game and take the lead, 40-39, off an old-fashioned three-point play by LaTorri Hines-Allen with 9:06 remaining.
After a jumper by Rhodes put the maroon and gold back in front, 41-40, a steal by Rhodes led to a fast-break layup by Baucom. Towson’s Hines-Allen then lost the ball to Stephenson who turned the steal into a three for a 46-40 advantage with 6:24 to play. The Phoenix continued to hold the Tigers at 40 points and scoreless for a 7:24 total to make its late run and move on to the victory.
Elon travels east for its next game to take on the UNC Wilmington Seahawks in Wilmington, N.C., on Thursday, Jan. 22, in a 7 p.m. tip.