ELON, N.C. – Elon University women’s basketball outscored Hampton 29-6 in the third quarter on the way to a convincing 82-59 victory over the Lady Pirates on Friday night, Nov. 17, in Alumni Gym.
“I felt like we got off to a really great start in terms of executing offensively and following the defensive game plan,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “That gave us a lot of momentum and confidence at the end of the first half heading into the locker room for a tough battle in the second half.”
Taking a 20-15 lead to the second quarter, the Phoenix (3-0) opened the frame on a 22-2 run spanning the first seven minutes on the way to outscoring Hampton (1-1) by 23 at 29-6. Ra’Shika White had a strong second quarter with nine points while Jada Graves and Lexi Mercer each added six. During the run, Elon hit three three-pointers with two coming from Graves in a span of less than 90 seconds. In all, the Phoenix knocked down 12-of-21 shots while Hampton hit just 3-of-14 in the difference-making quarter.
Hampton settled in out of halftime after shooting just 29.6 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. But Elon kept pace by hitting 69.2 percent of its shots in knocking down 9-of-13 attempts to take a 70-40 lead to the final quarter. Though the Phoenix struggled down the stretch with 12 points in the final 10 minutes, the big second quarter proved enough to get the job done to beat the Lady Pirates.
In the opening frame, Elon hit seven of its 10 shots with two three-pointers by Saadia Munford and Jaylin Powell falling. Shay Burnett led Elon with eight points on 2-of-3 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line, but Hampton stuck around thanks in large part to knocking down four three-pointers that accounted for 12 of its 15 first-quarter points.
Burnett led all scorers with 15 points. The senior from Graham, N.C., also had a career-high 11 assists to go with seven rebounds. For the third-straight game, Malaya Johnson scored 14 points while Munford and White each chipped in 13 points in the win. Munford also added six assists and three rebounds and White pulled down five rebounds to go with two blocks and two steals. Though she didn’t score, Anna Popovic had eight rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
Jephany Brown and K’lynn Willis led the Lady Pirates with 12 points apiece. Brown also pulled down a team-best six rebounds to go with three blocks. Allina Starr posted six points and six assists in the loss.
-Through three games, Burnett is averaging 9.7 assists per game. She finished with a career-high-tying nine in each of Elon’s first two victories before setting a new career mark Friday.
-Entering the night, Johnson led the CAA in shooting percentage at .778 percent. She kept ahold of the top spot with her 7-for-10 Friday and is now shooting a CAA-best .750 for the season.
-Elon’s 3-0 start marks the first time its started 3-0 since 2014-15 when it beat Anderson, Navy and Charlotte to open the year. Elon went on to win one more time against Liberty before falling to High Point in the fifth game of the campaign.
-Through three games, Elon’s average margin of victory stands at 38.4 points. That mark is far and away the highest in the CAA.
Elon will head to Florida next week for arguably its toughest three-game stretch of the season when it takes on UCF Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Alabama and Iowa on Friday, Nov. 24, and Saturday, Nov. 25, respectively, in the Puerto Rico Clasico in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Tip at UCF is set for 2 p.m. and the two games in Ft. Lauderdale are slated for 5 p.m.