FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Elon University women’s basketball stuck with Big Ten foe Iowa most of the way Saturday, Nov. 25, in the Puerto Rico Clasico, but the Hawkeyes pulled away late for a 74-61 victory.
With Elon’s first loss of the season, it now stands at 5-1 on the year. Iowa’s unbeaten start continued to a perfect 7-0.
Iowa started the contest on a 6-0 run before Elon could get on the board with a Ra’Shika White layup nearly four minutes into the contest. The Hawkeyes closed the quarter with a 5-0 run in the last 52 seconds thanks to a three-pointer by Alexis Sevillan and a jumper by Kathleen Doyle with three seconds left to take a 15-8 lead to the second.
To open the second 10 minutes, the two teams traded buckets with Elon coming as close as four after a pair of three-pointers by Jada Graves and Lexi Mercer. But Iowa answered each time and ultimately pushed the lead to as many as 11 before halftime on the way to taking a 33-23 lead to the locker room.
Elon opened the third quarter making a run, cutting the Iowa lead to six on two occasions after free throws by White and Shay Burnett. But the Hawkeyes responded each time and pushed the lead to 12 at 47-35 after a Chase Coley layup. Down the stretch, Elon did cut Iowa’s lead to seven after a Meme Garner three-pointer, but Iowa took an eight-point lead to the fourth at 50-42.
Trying to pull off the comeback, the two teams traded multiple buckets in a fast-paced fourth quarter, but Iowa outlasted Elon in going up by as many as 16 at 66-50 with 4:35 to play and again at 72-56 with 3:04 to go on the way to the win.
White posted her first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench to go with four blocks. Burnett nearly finished with her second-straight double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds on the night. Garner also poured in a season-high 12 points while Mercer and Graves each added seven points.
Iowa was led by Sevillian’s 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting while Megan Gustafson hit her season averages with 20 points and 14 rebounds in the win. Coley also added 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting to round out Iowa’s double-figure scorers.
-The 74 points for the Hawkeyes is the most allowed in a game by Elon this season.
-This week, Elon and Iowa were both receiving votes in national polls. The Phoenix received two votes in the USA TODAY Coaches poll and Iowa got nine. Iowa also got five votes in the AP Top 25 poll.
-The loss is just Elon’s fourth in the last 32 games dating back to Dec. 8, 2016. The losses came to James Madison twice, West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament and Saturday’s game against Iowa.
The Phoenix will return home to Alumni Gym Monday night, Nov. 27, when it takes on Division II foe Coker at 7 p.m. to close the opening month of basketball. The game marks the first meeting between the Phoenix and Cobras.