Elon WBB Takes Overtime Win Against Delaware on Senior Night

ELON, N.C. – Delaware had the last shot in both regulation and overtime but the Elon women’s basketball team held off the Blue Hens to claim a 77-76 win in its final regular-season game tonight, March 4, in Alumni Gym on senior night.

The game was still tied, 73-73, with 2:17 left in overtime before a three by Shay Burnett followed by a free throw by the rookie put the Phoenix up by four, 77-73, with 1:12 remaining. UD’s Erika Brown converted an old-fashioned three-point play to pull within one, 77-76, with 56 seconds left. After the Phoenix turned the ball over, the Blue Hens missed two opportunities in the final 25 seconds for the maroon and gold to book end its first season in the CAA with another win over Delaware.

“Even though we have the fourth seed, we finished tied for third in the league, so we had something to play for as well tonight,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “I’m excited that we were able to come out with the victory on senior night. I have wonderful group of seniors and I’m proud of everything they have done for the program over the last four years.”

The Phoenix (18-11, 11-7) went 26-of-62 to shoot 42 percent from the field and shot 60 percent (6-of-10) from beyond the arc. Elon claimed the edge on the glass, 46-38, and outscored the Blue Hens in second-chance points, 19-9. The maroon and gold reserves finished with a 32-8 advantage of UD’s bench.

Burnett led the Phoenix with 19 points and five assists to go along with five rebounds. Zora Stephenson hit three baskets from long distance on the night for 13 points, while Autumn Carter posted a season-high 13 points and five rebounds. Sam Coffer led the team on the boards with 10 rebounds.

The Blue Hens (13-16, 8-10) shot 44 percent from the field after going 27-of-62 and was held to a 38 percent mark from three (3-of-8). UD scored 36 points in the paint and scored 12 points off Phoenix turnovers. Joy Caracciolo finished with a game-high 21 points, while three other Delaware players scored in double figures.

The Blue Hens got off to a strong start, holding the Phoenix scoreless and taking a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. Five points by Lauren Brown and a three by Stephenson pulled the maroon and gold within three, 11-8, by the 14:36 mark. Elon cut the deficit to two twice before UD moved back ahead by eight, 25-17, with 8:14 to play in the half. A three by Coffer with 1:13 left before the break made it a five-point deficit for the Phoenix, 37-32, at the break.

Elon shot 38 percent from the field and 50 percent from three in the opening frame, while also claiming the advantage on the boards, 20-17. Delaware went 50 percent from both the field and long distance.

The Phoenix opened the second half on an 8-0 run with the help of back-to-back triples by Stephenson to take its first lead of the game, 40-37, at the 18:08 mark. A jumper by Jenifer Rhodes gave the maroon and gold a four-point advantage, 47-43, with under 15 minutes to play before the Blue Hens evened the score at 47-all.

UD moved ahead 53-49 before Carter snapped a scoring drought for the Phoenix after grabbing her own rebound and hitting a put-back jumper to pull Elon back within two, 53-51, with 9:18 on the clock.

With Elon trailing by three, 59-56, seven straight points by Burnett, including a three to cap the run off, put the Phoenix ahead, 63-59, with 4:46 to play. Delaware responded with a 5-0 run to move back ahead 64-63 with under three minutes remaining. The game became tied for the eighth time of the game at the 2:00 mark before two free throws by Burnett put Elon in the lead, 67-65, with 1:35 on the clock. With 12 ticks left in regulation, UD’s Courtni Green finished off a layup to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Next up for the Phoenix is the 2015 CAA Women’s Basketball Championship that begins on Thursday, March 12, in Upper Marlboro, Md. Elon is the fourth seed and will play fifth-seeded UNCW in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13, at 2:30 p.m. in The Show Place Arena.