ELON, N.C. – Elon University women’s basketball used a 39-point fourth quarter to pull away from Anderson in a 102-47 exhibition victory on Sunday, Nov. 5, in Alumni Gym. In all, Elon hit 63.8 percent of its shots from the floor, knocking down 37-of-58 on the night in the 55-point victory.
After leading by seven at halftime, Elon outscored Anderson 66-18 in the second half. The Phoenix closed the game by shooting 87.5 percent in the fourth quarter, hitting 14-of-16 shots in the final 10 minutes.
In the early going, Anderson raced out to a quick 6-2 lead in the opening 2:25 with a layup five seconds in from Alexy Mollenhauer and a pair of layups from Madison Baggett on back-to-back possessions. Though Elon answered with two Malaya Johnson buckets, Baggett hit a three-pointer and Mollenhauer connected on another layup to lead 11-9. From there, the Phoenix went on a 8-0 run behind four layups from four different players to go up 17-11 and the Phoenix didn’t trail the rest of the way.
Taking a 25-19 lead to the second quarter, the two teams struggled to put points on the board in combining for just 21. Elon extended its lead to 10 at 35-25 with a Ra’Shika White layup with 3:50 to play in the half, but the Phoenix put its last point of the half on the board with a Shay Burnett free throw with 3:23 to go. The only point of the final three minutes of the half, though, was a Baggett free throw with 14 seconds to go that cut the Phoenix lead to the halftime score of 36-29.
On the other side of the break, Elon opened the third quarter with back-to-back three-pointers from Burnett and Lexi Mercer, which jumpstarted a 10-2 run to go up 15 at 46-31. Though four free throws and a three-pointer by Ace Easter brought Anderson back within 10 at 48-38, Elon answered with a 15-4 run to close the quarter up 21 at 63-42.
The fourth quarter saw Elon continually push the advantage to a game-high 55 at 102-47. The Phoenix defense allowed Anderson to hit just two of its attempted 12 shots from the floor in the final quarter while forcing 10 turnovers. In the first three quarters, Anderson had committed 13 across the 30 minutes.
White paced Elon with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting. She also pulled down nine rebounds and had three assists, a block and a steal. Burnett finished with 17 points on 7-of-8 from the floor. The senior also added seven rebounds and four assists. Jada Graves chipped in 14 points off the bench to go with seven rebounds and a game-high five steals. Saadia Munford knocked down four of her five attempted shots and finished with 12 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Johnson rounded out Elon’s double-figure scorers with 10 points and two blocks in 21 minutes.
Baggett led Anderson with 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. Easter was the only other player to score in double figures with 13. Elon did a number on Alexis Dillard, who averaged 17.3 points per game in three games as a senior last year before missing the rest of the 2016-17 season. The fifth-year senior finished with just two points and did not hit a shot from the floor.
-Elon’s 102 points marks the first time in any competition the Phoenix has reached the century mark since scoring 103 against USC Upstate in the WBI on March 17, 2011.
-All 10 players to play in the game for Elon scored.
-Three years ago, Elon opened the 2014-15 regular season at home against Anderson. It beat the Trojans by just five points at 77-72.
-The 55-point win is the largest exhibition win in seven seasons under Smith. The previous largest win was a 43-point win (70-27) in 2015 over Winston-Salem State.
-The Phoenix collected more rebounds than Anderson did points, pulling down 48 rebounds on the night.
-Elon’s bench also outscored Anderson, finishing with 52 points in the game.
Elon will open its 2017-18 regular season Friday, Nov. 10, with a 7 p.m. game against Winthrop. Elon and Winthrop, formerly Big South rivals, have split the previous 16 meetings between the two, but Elon has won six of the eight matchups in Alumni Gym to date.