HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Elon women’s basketball team hung tight with league leader James Madison through much of the first half but the Dukes were able to pull away for a 89-60 win tonight, Jan. 30, in the JMU Convocation Center.
“It was a tough atmosphere but we talked about being mentally focused and getting past all the noise,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I felt like we did a pretty good job of that but we just came out very slow. JMU shot the ball tremendously well tonight and defensively we didn’t compete.”
Elon (12-8, 5-4) was held to a 14-of-52 mark from field-goal range (27 percent) and only managed five baskets from beyond the arc. The Phoenix defense tallied six blocks in game and an 18-15 advantage in second-chance points.
Shay Burnett led the Phoenix with 15 points after a career-high 10 free throws and also posted a team-high six rebounds. Malaya Johnson finished with eight points in the game, while Lauren Brown contributed seven. Eleven of the 13 Phoenix players that saw action scored at least two points in the game.
JMU (18-2, 9-0) finished 28-for-71 from the field to shoot 39 percent with 10 baskets from long distance (44 percent). The Dukes also looked strong at the charity stripe, going 23-of-26 for an 89 percent mark, while also claiming the advantage on the boards, 44-42. JMU was led by 18 points from league scoring leader Precious Hall and saw a double-double from Lauren Okafor after 16 points and 11 boards.
After a three by Stephenson in the first three minutes put the Phoenix within two, 6-4, Cochraham grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for a layup to make it a one-point deficit for the maroon and gold, 12-11, with 14:09 on the clock.
Bacuom scored five points for Elon in a two-minute span to make it a 19-17 game and force a Dukes timeout with 8:51 to play in the half. However, JMU managed a 20-0 run over the next five and a half minutes to move ahead by as much as 22 before taking a 44-22 lead at the break.
JMU went 13-of-35 in the first half to shoot 37 percent, including five triples for a 50 percent mark, while Elon was held to only six field goals (6-of-28) and a 21 percent clip. The Dukes held slight advantage on the glass, 24-20, and converted all 13 of its trips to the line.
In the second half, the Dukes were able to use a 12-2 run early to move ahead by 30, 62-32, keeping the game out of reach down the stretch.
Elon plays its next game on Thursday, Feb. 5, when it travels to Baltimore to take on the Towson Tigers in a 7 p.m. tip.