RALEIGH, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team shot a blistering 60 percent from the three-point line today, Dec. 13, en route to the program’s first ever win over NC State, 69-66, at Broughton High School.
With eight seconds remaining, Maddie McCallie was sent to the line to shoot two, knocking down both to put Elon ahead by four, 68-64. NCSU hit a layup with four ticks left to make it a two-point game but was forced to foul again and sent Lauren Brown to the line to shoot two. She hit the first and missed the second making it a one-possession game. The Wolfpack got the ball down the court but missed the game-tying basket, giving Elon its first win in nine games against NCSU.
“It’s a great win for our program,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “Hopefully it’ll build momentum and confidence for this team to go into games of this caliber and compete to our highest potential. I think we were a lot more focused this time around. We wanted to focus on taking care of the basketball this year and to defend. Then you have to shoot the ball well in order to win. I think we did all the things to give ourselves a chance to be successful today.”
The Phoenix (6-2) went 23-of-54 from the field to shoot 43 percent, including 9-of-15 from beyond the arc for the 60 percent mark, while finishing 58 percent from the line (14-of-24). The Wolfpack (7-3) shot 39 percent after going 20-of-51 and hit seven threes for a 35 percent mark but claimed a strong advantage on the boards, 40-29.
Elon saw a game-high 18 points from Brown, which tied a career high, and finished 5-of-6 from the field (4-of-5 from three) and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe. McCallie tallied a career-high 16 points with the help of four threes and hauled down a career-high eight rebounds. Shay Burnett and Malaya Johnson also finished in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
With the Wolfpack leading by three, 10-7, a layup by Jenifer Rhodes and three by Brown gave Elon its first lead of the game, 12-10, at the 4:38 mark in the first period. The Phoenix defense continued to hold NCSU scoreless for over five minutes until Ashley Williams evened the score at 13-all. With 12 seconds remaining, Burnett missed a basket from long distance but regained control with a steal at the other end and got the ball to Baucom three seconds later for a layup as time expired to take a 16-13 advantage after the opening period.
Both teams would trade off threes twice, beginning with one by McCallie with 7:59 remaining to make it a 19-14 game. After State pulled within two, 22-20, the Pack hit another trey at the 4:52 mark to take its first lead, 23-22, since 5:32 in the first. With NCSU holding a two-point advantage, 24-22, a jumper by Josepha Mbouma and back-to-back baskets by Johnson put Elon back in front, 28-24, before another three by State in the final minute made it a 28-27 game at the break.
State started the second half out on a 10-0 run to take a 37-28 lead before Brown’s third three of the game closed the gap to six, 37-31. NCSU moved ahead by as much as 11, 42-31, before seven straight by the Phoenix, including a basket from long range by McCallie made it a 43-41 game at the 3:46 mark. With 26 seconds left in the period, Brown hit another three to even the game at 49-all.
In the final period, the NCSU bench was called for a technical, sending Brown to the line and making it a 50-50 game. With the Wolfpack leading by two, 62-60, two free throws by Burnett and a jumper by Johnson put the Phoenix back in front, 64-62, with 2:08 to play. A steal by Brown with just over a minute to play led to a fast-break layup and a four-point lead, 66-62. State responded with a layup to make a two-point game once again, 66-64, with 37 seconds left in the game before McCallie was fouled with eight ticks remaining on the clock.
Elon returns home for the first time in three weeks to host High Point on Saturday, Dec. 19. Tip is set for 3:30 p.m. as the second game of an Elon basketball doubleheader.