DAVIDSON, N.C. – Elon University women’s basketball battled adversity Wednesday night, Dec. 6, but pulled away over the course of the second half for a 75-58 victory over Davidson inside Belk Arena.
“We just kept getting the ball inside, we felt like that was a strength of our team in this game,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We wanted to get it inside to Ra’Shika White and it shows in the box score with 21 points. It might have been an ugly win but we’ll take it.”
In a game that had 55 fouls whistled between the two teams, Elon pushed its record to 7-2 on the season. It rebounded nicely after suffering the two-point loss last time out at Wake Forest. Davidson, now on a four-game losing skid, stands at 3-6.
Meme Garner opened Elon’s night with a three-pointer after Mackenzie Latt hit the first bucket of the game just 15 seconds earlier. Though Davidson took an 8-3 lead, the Phoenix battled back to tie the game at 8-all with a Shay Burnett jumper. From there, the two teams traded buckets over the course of the last five minutes with Davidson taking an 18-17 lead to the second.
After splitting free throws to start the second, Elon turned a two-point deficit at 20-18 into a seven-point lead at 27-20 after a free throw by Malaya Johnson to cap a 9-0 run. Though the Wildcats cut the lead back to three, Elon closed the half on a 7-2 run to lead 34-26 at halftime.
Out of the break, Johnson started the second half with five points in the opening 2:35 to go up 11. Over the course of the third quarter, Elon pushed its lead to as many as 16 at 54-38 after a White layup on the break with 1:17 to play.
Down the stretch, Davidson made one last push with a run to make it an 11-point game at 56-45 with 7:07 to play. After an Elon timeout, though, the Phoenix used a 6-0 run to go back up 17 at 62-45 on the way to extending the lead to as many as 20 at 68-48 after a pair of Jaylin Powell free throws.
White led all scorers with 21 points. She also had three rebounds and two steals. Johnson also had a strong night, matching her season high with 14 points to go with eight rebounds and a block. Burnett, though fouling out with 7:51 to play, amassed 11 points and eight rebounds on the night. Saadia Munford also scored in double figures for the second time in her career, finishing with 10 points and a team-high four assists. Though she didn’t score, Jada Graves had 10 rebounds on the night, setting a new career high.
Justine Lyon notched a game-high 22 points. She went 6-for-8 from the field with a trio of three-pointers. She also went 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Both Latt and Katie Turner added 14 points. Lyon, Latt and Saadia Timpton all pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
-With 14 points, Johnson is now 85 points away from the 1000-career point club with 915 in her career in maroon and gold.
-Shooting 30.0 percent from the field, Davidson’s mark is the second-lowest percentage Elon has held an opponent to this season. The lowest is a 23.7 field goal percentage on opening night against Winthrop on Nov. 10.
-Graves has now recorded at least seven rebounds in three of Elon’s last six games. She didn’t pull down more than five in 33 games as a freshman in 2016-17.
-Burnett is now just one point away from cracking the Top 10 in program history for points scored. She has 1,264 in her career after 11 points Wednesday.
After a nine-day break, Elon will return to the floor Saturday, Dec. 16, for its final road game of the non-conference slate with a 6 p.m. tip in Raleigh, N.C., against NC State. Last time Elon battled NC State, the Phoenix defeated the Wolfpack 69-66 on Dec. 13, 2015, at Broughton High School.