BOONE, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team fell short in its final contest of a three-game road swing at Appalachian State, 65-62, on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Holmes Convocation Center.
Elon (1-3) was held without a basket in the final 5:12 of the game as Appalachian State (3-2) battled back to win its third straight. It was the first matchup between the two programs since 2014 when the pair were former conference foes in the Southern Conference.
The Phoenix shot .424 percent from the field (25-of-59) and was 5-for-17 from downtown. Elon was held to seven points in the fourth quarter as the Mountaineers rallied for the win. Ariel Colón had a double-double to lead the Phoenix with 14 points and 11 rebounds, her second double-double in the past three games.
Madi Story had a game-high 17 points to lead the Mountaineers, who shot 24-of-60 (.400) from the field. ASU had twice as many attempts as the Phoenix at the free throw line, going 15-of-21 from the charity stripe.
Elon started the first quarter with a 7-4 lead with Emily Maupin and Lexi Mercer being the main catalysts. Appalachian State would tie the game at seven-all with both teams also being deadlocked at 9-9 at the 4:40 mark of the first. The Phoenix then went on a 9-2 run to close out the period and take an 18-11 advantage into the second.
Appalachian State battled back in the second period. After a layup by Mercer gave the Phoenix a 20-13 lead at the 9:23 mark, the Mountaineers went on a 14-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 27-20 advantage. Elon trimmed the deficit to three, 29-26, at the 4:09 mark, but ASU scored four unanswered points to push it leads to seven, 33-26. The Phoenix responded with a 6-0 run including a three-pointer by Colón that brought Elon within one, 33-32 with 1:22 left in the half. A Mountaineer layup with 54 second left put the advantage back to three for Appalachian State, who took that lead into the locker room, 35-32.
The Phoenix shot .448 percent (13-of-29) in the opening half and was 3-of-9 from three. Elon held the Mountaineers to under 40 percent in the first half at .387 percent (12-of-31), but ASU capitalized its trips to the free throw line going 10-of-12.
Elon quickly erased its deficit to start the third as Colón tied the game at 35-all 40 seconds into the second half. A layup by Brie Perpignan at the 9:02 minute mark gave Elon its first lead since early in the 7:54 mark in the second quarter, 37-35. The Mountaineers made it a one-point game, 42-41, after a Bayley Plummer layup, but Elon went on a 7-0 run to increase its advantage to eight, 49-41. Another layup by Perpignan gave Elon a 10-point lead at the 2:12 mark in the third eventually moving to the fourth with a seven-point lead, 55-48.
The Mountaineers opened the fourth with a 7-1 run to pull within one, 56-55, at the 7:41 mark. Layups from Maupin and Perpignan on back-to-back possessions moved Elon back in front, 60-55. ASU continued to trim away at the Phoenix’s lead with a 6-2 run to bring itself back within one, 62-61, before taking the lead at 63-62 at the 2:35 mark on a layup by Ashley Polacek. Both teams went scoreless over the next near two minutes before the Mountaineers split a pair at the line with 50 seconds left and take a 64-62 lead.
Elon looked to tie the game on a jumper by Colón with 30 seconds left, but the shot would not fall as Appalachian State corralled the rebound forcing the Phoenix to foul. The Mountaineers could not capitalize on the free throw opportunity, again going 1-of-2 at the line and keeping the contest a one-possession game at 65-62.
The Phoenix would get one final attempt to tie the contest with 2.9 seconds left, but Elon’s three-point attempt went off the back iron as the Mountaineers escaped with the 65-62 win.
The Phoenix returns to host Chowan next Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Schar Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.