Elon WBB Falls in Final Moments at UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Costly turnovers down the stretch proved to be the deciding factor, as the Elon women’s basketball team dropped a 78-73 decision to North Carolina on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Carmichael Arena. The game marked the first back in Chapel Hill for Elon (4-3) head coach Charlotte Smith, whose jersey hangs from the rafters at Carmichael Arena.


“It’s an honor to come back and have Charlotte Smith Bobble Head Day,” Smith said jokingly following the game. “I’m really proud of the effort from our team today, just the way they came in here and fought for 40 minutes. If you come in and play hard for 40 minutes, that’s all you can ask of them. I’m excited about the effort today and we will look forward to getting better and working in practice this week and our next challenge – another ACC rival in Duke.”

Elon put UNC on its heels late in the game when rookie Jada Graves came up with back-to-back steals on the defensive end that led to points for the Phoenix, pulling the maroon and gold within two points with 1:55 to play and the ball. But a turnover by the Phoenix on the possession led to a jumper by Jamie Cherry that put UNC ahead by four, 75-71, with 41 seconds to play.

Another miscue on the ensuing possession for Elon all but sealed the game for UNC, as the Phoenix were put in a must-foul situation in the waning moments. The Tar Heels kept the Phoenix at arm’s length from that point forward to avoid the upset, knocking down free throws to maintain the lead.

The Phoenix put three in double figures, led by 17 points from both Essence Baucom and Ra’Shika White, as well as a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double from Shay Burnett – her second straight performance with double-digit points and double-digit rebounds.

Despite going 5-of-23 from three, the Phoenix still managed to shoot 46 percent from the floor in the setback. Elon dominated the glass, 42-28, against UNC, as four players grabbed six or more rebounds. Tonight’s game saw a total of 16 lead changes, as Elon hung tight with the Tar Heels, who improved to 7-1 with the victory.

UNC gave out Charlotte Smith bobble heads prior to the game to the first 500 fans.

Elon’s next game is Thursday, Dec. 8, at Duke. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium.