CHARLESTON, S.C. – In a game in which every player that played for Elon University scored, the Phoenix women’s basketball team picked up its second-straight road victory Friday night, Feb. 2, with a 77-55 win at College of Charleston inside TD Arena.
“We did a good job of sharing the basketball,” said head coach Charlotte Smith. “You can see that on the stat sheet with 16 assists. We have an equal-opportunity offense and we feel like everybody can be an offensive threat when they’re out there on the floor so we did a really good job in this one of sharing the basketball.”
With back-to-back victories, Elon is now 14-7 through 21 games and stands at 6-4 in conference play. College of Charleston now sits 5-17 overall and 1-10 in CAA action. Before the two consecutive road wins, Elon had lost its last five games away from Alumni Gym.
Leading 34-23 at halftime, Elon’s advantage was cut to just six after a 5-0 Charleston run to start the second half. Though the Cougars cut it to 34-28, Elon answered with a big 21-1 run to take a commanding 26-point lead at 55-29 with 4:14 to go in the third after two three-point plays by Ra’Shika White. In all, Elon hit 55 percent of its shots on 11-for-20 from the field while CofC managed 4-of-14 for 28.6 percent as the Phoenix closed the third with a 59-37 lead.
In the fourth, Charleston cut the Phoenix advantage to 16 with a 10-4 run, but CofC couldn’t get any closer with Elon finishing the night on a 13-8 run to seal the 22-point win.
The Phoenix opened the night hitting 72.7 from the floor on 8-of-11 in the first quarter with Meme Garnerknocking down a pair of three-pointers from the top of the key. CofC went up 6-4 early on, but Elon answered with a 7-2 run to lead 11-8 at the first media timeout. Out of the stoppage, Charleston came within one at 11-10, but the Phoenix ran again, this time 8-2 behind Garner’s pair of threes and a Shay Burnett layup. Down the stretch, both teams hit its last four shots of the quarter, but Saadia Munford pushed Elon’s lead to 24-18 with two free throws in the final six seconds.
Though the pace slowed in the second quarter on both sides of the ball, Elon still extended its lead to as many as 14 at the midway point of the quarter after back-to-back Munford layups capped an 8-0 run. The Cougars answered with a 5-0 run of their own, but White’s layup with 3:10 to go put Elon up 34-23 with neither side scoring in the final three-plus minutes of the half. On the defensive end, Elon held Charleston to 12.5 percent on 1-for-8 from the floor, which marks the second-worst shooting percentage in a quarter by a Phoenix opponent this year.
White closed the night with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-12 from the floor. She missed a double-double by one rebound, finishing with nine. Malaya Johnson finished an 8-for-11 night from the floor with 16 points. Ten of her points came in the second half. Munford also posted 12 with five rebounds and four assists and Garner finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Jada Graves added seven points and eight rebounds.
Tanisha Brown and Deja Ford both finished with 14 points for the Cougars. The duo marked the only two CofC players in double figures. Brown also had 11 points to record a double-double. Bri Sullivan also added six points and six rebounds.
-Elon has shot better than 45 percent in each of its last three games. It marks the best three-game stretch since shooting north of 52 percent in each of its first three games of the 2017-18 season.
-White scored 12 of her 17 points after halftime. She went 4-for-7 from the floor and 5-for-7 at the free throw line in the second 20 minutes.
-Elon’s 47 rebounds are the most in a game since it pulled down 47 at James Madison on Jan. 12.
-Finished with a CAA-long three-game road trip, Elon went 2-1 on the trip with wins over CofC and Towson by a combined 48 points after beating Towson 71-45. The loss was a two-point, 58-56 defeat at second-place Drexel.
-Elon has held one team – North Carolina Central – to a smaller shooting percentage in a quarter when it held the Eagles to 11.1 percent in the fourth quarter on Dec. 19.
Completing a three-game road trip Friday night, Elon will now head home for three in a row inside Alumni Gym. The first game of the homestand is a 2017 CAA title rematch against James Madison on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. JMU beat Elon 70-67 back on Jan. 12 in Harrisonburg, Va., in a back and forth game.