Elon WBB Phoenix Downs HPU Panthers, 80-69, for Fourth Straight Win

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team extended its current win streak to four games with a 80-69 victory over High Point today, Dec. 19, in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix saw a season-high 17 points from Essence Baucom, who tied her career-high scoring mark with a 5-of-7 mark from the field, went 7-of-8 from the line and tallied six assists.

“I am pleased that we got the win,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “There are some things we could have done to be a better team tonight. We got off to a really great start, offensively and defensively, and felt like we kind of got comfortable when we had the lead and let them get back in the game. Overall, I’m happy we got the win as we move forward.”

The Phoenix (7-2) shot 42 percent from the field after going 27-of-64, including a 27 percent mark from three, and went 22-of-28 from the line for 79 percent. The Panthers (3-8) knocked down 26-of-57 to shoot 46 percent and 27 percent from beyond the arc, along with an 87 percent mark (14-of-16) from the charity stripe. Elon won the battle on the boards, 38-34, and outscored HPU in the paint, 40-28, and off the bench, 45-21. The Phoenix also added nine blocks in the game compared to two by the Panthers and scored 28 points off 23 HPU turnovers.

Shay Burnett tallied 16 points for the maroon and gold after also going 7-of-8 from the line. Jenifer Rhodes added 13 points and posted a game-high seven rebounds.

After the Panthers took a 7-4 lead in the first period, Burnett hit a layup and was fouled, finishing off the old-fashioned three-point play to give Elon its first advantage, 11-10. Burnett then found Josepha Mbouma who drove to the basket for the score, making it a 13-12 game at the 3:39 mark to start a 12-0 run for the Phoenix. A Baucom layup with two seconds left gave the maroon and gold a 25-14 advantage after the first 10 minutes.

Back-to-back baskets by Rhodes in the first minute of the second period moved the Phoenix to a 15-point lead, 29-14. A three by Nikki McDonald with 5:25 on the clock kept Elon in front, 35-20, before a 6-0 run by the Panthers closed the gap to nine, 35-26, with 4:05 remaining. The maroon and gold closed out the first half with five straight, including a Baucom offensive rebound for a layup as time expired to make it a 40-26 game at the break.

Holding a 32-46 lead, Elon claimed back-to-back scores in the span of seven seconds off a pair of steals. McDonald tallied the first steal, which led to a Baucom layup, before Baucom grabbed a baseline steal on the inbound play and got it to McDonald for the second score to make it an 18-point advantage, 50-32, with 6:08 on the clock. A three by Maddie McCallie with just over a minute remaining moved the Phoenix ahead by 19 as the maroon and gold finished the period with a 64-45 lead.

HPU cut its deficit to 10, 67-57, with 5:18 on clock before four straight by Burnett, including a layup after taking the ball the length of the floor made it a 14-point game, 71-57. With three minutes remaining, Burnett knocked down a three-point shot after a second look to make it a 75-59 game. The Panthers managed to make it a eight-point game, 76-68, with 1:07 left, but it was too little too late as the Phoenix knocked down free throws for the 11-point final differential.

This was the first win for Elon over High Point in the last seven meetings…The Phoenix last won against the Panthers on March 1, 2003…The last win for the maroon and gold against HPU was on Jan. 25, 2003…High Point leads the series, 39-37…The Phoenix has now won six of its last seven games with a current four-game win streak.

Next Up
Elon travels to Columbia, S.C., to take on No. 2 South Carolina on Tuesday, Dec. 22, for its last game before the holiday break. Tip is set for 7 p.m. in Colonial Life Arena and will also air on SEC Network+.

HPU’s comeback falls short at Elon, 80-69

• Junior Kaylah Keys paced the offense with 15 points to pass Cheyenne Parker for fifth on the school’s Division I scoring list with 1,202 in her career.
• Redshirt-freshman Kennedy Currie posted a season-high nine points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor.
• The Purple & White get 10 days off for Christmas break before getting back into conference play at Presbyterian on Dec. 29 at 7:00 p.m.

ELON, N.C. – The High Point University women’s basketball team battled back from a 19-point third quarter deficit, but couldn’t complete the comeback in an 80-69 setback at Elon on Saturday.

The contest marked the end of the non-conference slate for the Panthers (3-8) who get the next 10 days off for Christmas break. With the win, the Phoenix moved to 7-2 on the season.

“I thought our kids faced a lot of adversity today in many ways,” head coach DeUnna Hendrix said. “Honestly, I’m proud of their effort and their chemistry and it’s really starting to come together for us.”

Junior Kaylah Keys came off the bench to score 15 points – 10 in the fourth quarter – and pass Cheyenne Parker for fifth on HPU’s Division I career scoring list.

Meanwhile, freshman Shea Morgan scored 10 points and redshirt-freshman Kennedy Currie added nine – a season high – on 4-of-4 shooting. Altogether, the Purple & White’s bench tallied a 45-21 advantage in scoring over the Phoenix’s reserves.

Sophomore Kat Harris drilled a 3-pointer on the team’s second possession before adding a layup to make it 5-4 (7:11). Soon after, freshman Emma Bockrath followed with a transition layup (7-4) before Elon answered with four straight points to take an 8-7 edge (5:21). Davis, then, drilled a trifecta to allow the Panthers to regain the lead (10-8, 4:59).

However, the Phoenix used a 21-4 run to build a 29-14 advantage with 8:00 remaining in the first half. From there, the Panthers chipped away outscoring Elon 12-6 over the next six minutes to pull within nine (35-26, 2:05). But the home team posted the final five tallies of the half to take a 40-26 lead into the break.

The two squads traded baskets early before consecutive buckets from Currie cut the deficit to 10 (42-32, 7:11). But once again, Elon had the answer going on a 15-6 run to build a 19-point edge (57-38, 4:00). Neither team could make any head way the rest of the quarter as the game headed to the fourth with the Phoenix leading 64-45.

Freshman Kyrie’ Chandler came out in the fourth quarter and sparked a 12-3 over the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Chandler scored four points and dished out an assist as the Panthers made it 67-57 with 4:59 to play. After Elon bounced back to regain a 16-point lead (75-59), Keys anchored a 9-2 run with seven quick points (76-68, 1:07). But the comeback came up short as Elon earned an 80-69 victory.

The Panthers have another extended break before Big South Conference play picks up in earnest as HPU travels to Presbyterian on Dec. 29.