BOSTON – With three seconds on the clock, Shay Burnett found an open Nikki McDonald under the basket for a layup that put the Elon women’s basketball team over Northeastern, 56-54. Northeastern missed its final attempt to win the game as the clock expired, giving the Phoenix the final two-point win today, Jan. 29, in the Cabot Center.
“The play at the end was not designated for any one particular player,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We have a lot of looks we can get with that play. Shay did an outstanding job of taking advantage of what the defense gave her.”
“I’m very proud of the team. We stayed very composed and had great leadership. During the timeouts, we were talking about taking it one possession at a time to get back in the game. We really focused on execution and defense in the fourth period.”
The Phoenix (12-7, 5-3 CAA) finished 20-of-56 from the field to shoot 36 percent on the day and went 15-of-19 from the line for 79 percent. Elon only hit one basket from long distance on the day, going 1-of-18, but scored 30 total points in the paint.
Burnett posted a team-high 17 points and a career-high 15 boards for her fifth double-double of the season, while also tallying five assists. The sophomore shot 5-of-12 from the field and hit 7-of-8 attempts from the line. McDonald followed with nine points in the game after a 4-of-7 performance from the field.
The Huskies (7-12, 2-6 CAA) shot 33 percent from the field off a 19-of-57 mark, including 5-of-21 from three (79 percent). NU finished 11-of-14 from the charity stripe (79 percent) and claimed a 39-35 advantage on the boards. Tiffany Montagne led all players with 18 points, while Samantha DeFreese and Gabriella Giacone posted 13 and 10 points, respectively.
A layup by Carter at the 4:00 mark in the first period put the Phoenix within one of the Huskies, 7-6. NU closed out the frame on a 7-2 run to take a 14-8 advantage into the next period.
Northeastern carried the momentum into the second period, holding Elon scoreless for the first 2:19 for a 10-point lead, 18-8, before a jumper by McDonald broke the Phoenix drought. With seven minutes remaining in the half, Burnett scored nine straight for the maroon and gold off one field goal and five free throws to make it a one-point deficit, 19-18, with 4:32 to play. A jumper by Hudson with 38 seconds made it a 24-22 game as NU held the lead by two at the break.
Elon tied the game, 24-all, off two free throws by Burnett in the first 14 seconds of the third period. Northeastern answered with an 11-2 run to take a 35-26 advantage with 5:08 on the clock. A layup by Burnett at the 3:22 mark closed the gap to five, 35-30, as NU held the same differential, 43-38, into the final frame.
Baskets by Baucom and Rhodes in the first three minutes of the fourth period pulled the Phoenix within three twice before five straight by the Huskies moved NU to an eight-point lead, 50-42, with 5:22 to play. With 2:20 remaining the Phoenix went to work with layups by Johnson and Burnett making it a three-point game, 54-51. After a NU turnover, McCallie sank Elon’s first triple of the day with 60 seconds on the clock to tie the game. The maroon and gold defense forced another turnover as Johnson claimed a steal setting up the final score by McDonald.
Elon remains in the Northeast and closes out its weekend road trip at Hofstra on Sunday, Jan. 31, in Hempstead, N.Y. Tip is set for 2 p.m. in the Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.