GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team recorded its second straight win over a Southern Conference team with a 65-55 victory at Furman today, Dec. 5, in Timmons Arena.
Led by a season-high 19 points from Jenifer Rhodes, who tied her career-high with nine field goals, the Phoenix (5-2) finished 22-of-59 from the field to shoot 37 percent, including 31 percent from beyond the arc. The team also hit 16-of-21 attempts from the charity stripe for a 76 percent mark. Elon led on the glass, 47-33, and claimed a 13-0 advantage over Furman in bench points. Shay Burnett also scored in double figures with 13 points and finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
The Paladins (5-3) went 18-of-57 from the field to finish with a 32 percent field-goal percentage and held the same mark from three, while going 13-of-15 from the line to shoot 87 percent. Furman saw a game-high 23 points from Holli Wilkins, while Cierra Carter finished with the games only double-double with 12 points and 12 boards.
“We talked about having a balanced attack, primarily getting the ball inside, and I thought Jenifer did a really good job of focusing and finishing,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “The SoCon is a great conference and we’ve had great competition in these two games. We’re excited to be able to play these competitors and it was an outstanding game on both ends.”
A three by Maddie McCallie in the first minute of play helped the Phoenix off to a 7-3 advantage before the Paladins evened the game 7-all at the 5:22 mark. Furman moved out to a four-point lead, 14-10, and took a 16-14 edge into the second period.
With 16:17 on the clock, Burnett hit a layup followed by two free throws a minute later and another two scores from the line by Malaya Johnson to put Elon back in front, 24-20, with just over four minutes to play. The Phoenix led by as much as four, 27-23, before the Paladins moved ahead by one, 28-27, with 44 seconds remaining. As time expired, Rhodes grabbed an offensive board and hit a layup to give the maroon and gold a 30-28 lead at the break.
Furman moved out to a 35-34 advantage to start the second half before a bucket from long distance by Lauren Brown put Elon ahead, 39-37, with 5:44 on the clock. Two threes by McCallie, a jumper from long range by Burnett and a Rhodes layup helped the Phoenix to a 10-2 run in the span of four minutes to take a 51-41 lead into the final period.
After two free throws by Baucom made it a 55-45 game, Furman used a 6-0 run to pull within four with under six minutes to play. A Rhodes layup at the 4:57 mark gave the Phoenix its first field goal in over four minutes as Autumn Carter hit a jumper 45 seconds later to make it a 59-51 game. The Paladins cut its deficit to five, 59-54, before a Rhodes layup with 1:06 remaining made it a seven-point advantage. Furman was forced to foul in the final minute, sending the Phoenix to the line six times as Elon converted four of the attempts en route to the final 10-point victory.
Elon extends its advantage in the all-time series over Furman to 15-11…Rhodes’ 19 points left her just one shy of matching her career high…The game marked the sixth of the season for Burnett to score in double figures.
Elon travels down I-40 to take on Atlantic Coast Conference opponent NC State in its next game on Sunday, Dec. 13. Tip is set for 2 p.m. at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C.