TOWSON, Md. – The game entered the final period tied at 48-all, but the Elon women’s basketball team was not able to take the advantage in the final 10 minutes as Towson claimed the win, 85-78, tonight, Jan. 15, in SECU Arena.
The Phoenix (9-6, 2-2 CAA) went 25-of-67 from the field to shoot 37 percent, including 30 three-point attempts, converting six, for a 20 percent clip from beyond the arc. The team finished 73 percent from the charity stripe after converting 22-of-30 attempts. Elon claimed the advantage on the boards, 51-36, and in points off the bench, 37-10.
Lauren Brown led the Phoenix with 17 points after hitting four threes followed by 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists from Shay Burnett. Essence Baucom finished with 11 points and six assists, while Malaya Johnson had a game-high nine rebounds.
The Tigers (5-10, 2-2 CAA) shot 42 percent from the field after going 28-of-66, went 3-of-13 from long distance (23 percent) and held a 79 percent mark from the line (26-of-33). Towson scored 40 points in the paint, 21 points off 22 Phoenix turnovers and claimed 14 steals. Dominique Johnson and Raven Bankston each finished with a game-high 23 points, while Daijha Thomas posted 17 points.
With the Tigers leading by four, back-to-back baskets by Autumn Carter evened the game at eight-all with 3:15 remaining in the first period. Towson scored six straight to take a 14-8 advantage and led by five, 14-9, at the end of the frame.
A pair of free throws by Jenifer Rhodes at the 8:14 mark in the second period pulled the Phoenix within three, 14-11. TU moved back in front by six, 17-11, before a Brown three, the first of the game for either team, capped a 7-1 run by the maroon and gold to make it a two-point game, 20-18, with under five on the clock. Brown drained another three with 3:43 remaining to cut the deficit to one, 24-23. Mackenzie Darrah hit a pair of jumpers in the final minute to give Elon its first lead and make it a three-point game, 29-26, in favor of the Phoenix, at the break.
Rhodes opened the second half with a jumper at the 9:03 mark to give the Phoenix its largest lead of the game thus far, 31-26. Towson answered with six straight to regain the lead, 32-31, with 8:02 on the clock. A Burnett bucket and two free throws by Madie McCallie put the maroon back in front, 35-32, before Towson reclaimed the lead by as much as four, 41-37, with 5:45 remaining. Another three by Brown and a Burnett layup finished off a 7-0 run for the Phoenix, giving Elon a three-point advantage, 44-41.
With the game tied at 48-all entering the fourth period, the Tigers took a six-point lead, 59-53, off an 11-5 advantage in the period with 7:04 left to play. Baucom sank a three to pull Elon within three, 59-56, with 6:08 left before TU scored 11 straight and held the Phoenix scoreless for almost three minutes as Nikki McDonald broke the drought at the 3:18 mark to make it a 67-58 game. Having to fight to keep the game alive, the maroon and gold went on a 7-2 run, including a Brown three to make it a five-point game, 70-65, with 1:15 left. Elon was forced to foul down the stretch as the Tigers hit 15-of-18 free throws in the final 67 seconds to secure the win.
The Phoenix remains on the road and travels to Philadelphia for its next game at Drexel on Sunday, Jan. 17. Tip is set for 2 p.m. in the Daskalakis Athletic Center.