ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing skid with a 52-41 victory over College of Charleston tonight, Jan. 22, in Alumni Gym.
“We go the monkey off our back and we’re happy about that,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done. Execution offensively will be something we focus on in our next couple of practices, as well as getting more shots up so that they fall.”
The Phoenix (10-7, 3-3 CAA) went 17-of-51 from the field to shoot 33 percent. It was the first time in 90 games that Elon did not hit a basket from beyond the arc, going 0-14. The team hit 18-of-25 attempts from the charity stripe for a 72 percent mark and led on the boards, 45-36.
Essence Baucom finished 4-of-6 from the field for 10 points on the night to go with five rebounds and three assists. Malaya Johnson also had 10 points and five boards, while Shay Burnett posted seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Cougars (4-11, 1-5 CAA) shot 29 percent from the field (17-of-58), including 4-of-18 from three for 22 percent. CofC was only sent to the line six times, hitting three shots for 50 percent. Darien Huff led the Cougars with 11 points, while Jackie Luna-Castro had a team-high six rebounds.
After CofC opened the game with a three, the Phoenix scored six straight to take a 6-3 lead at the 6:40 mark. A long jumper by Autumn Carter gave the maroon and gold an 8-7 lead at the end of the first frame.
The Cougars moved to a five-point advantage in the second period, 12-7, before a fast-break layup by Baucom with 3:57 on the clock sparked an 8-0 run for the Phoenix. With 1:20 remaining, Johnson grabbed a defensive rebound and got the ball to an open Lauren Brown down the court for another fast-break layup to make it a 20-17 lead. Burnett was fouled on a three-point shot with just two ticks left, making all three shots to give the Phoenix a 23-17 advantage at the break.
In the third period, Baucom got the ball to both Nikki McDonald and Burnett for layups as Elon pulled ahead by 12, 31-19, at the 6:37 mark. The Cougars managed to cut the deficit to four, 31-27, with 4:11 on the clock but free throws (6-of-8 in the final four minutes of the period) kept the Phoenix in front by six, 37-31, heading into the final 10 minutes.
Free throws and a layup by Baucom made it a 10-point advantage for the maroon and gold, 43-33, with 6:14 to play. CofC pulled within five, 46-41, with 1:32 remaining before Cougar fouls and free throws by the Phoenix helped put the game out of reach.
Elon returns to the hardwood in a few days to host in-state opponent UNCW on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.