ELON, N.C. – Strong bench play from the Elon University women’s basketball team helped the Phoenix to a 73-64 victory versus fellow Triad rival North Carolina A&T on Tuesday night, Dec. 18, inside Schar Center.
The Phoenix (5-5) had 38 points from its reserves in the contest, outscoring the Aggies’ (2-8) bench players by 28. Elon shot 21-of-54 (.389) for the game, but was 10-of-21 from the three-point line. The contest also turned into a foul-plagued affair with both teams combining for 68 free throws attempts.
Emily Maupin led the Phoenix with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her second double-double of the season. Two others, Kayla Liles and Ariana Nance, had 10 points each off the pine, while fellow reserve Saadia Munford almost scored in double figures herself with nine points.
C’Coriea Foy led all scorers with 27 points for the Aggies, who shot 20-of-51 for the contest overall. Cinia McCray was the other lone player in double digits for North Carolina A&T with 11.
Both teams shot the ball well in the first quarter, combining to go 16-of-28 from the field and 6-of-13 from three. The Phoenix opened the game with a 12-6 lead after a three-pointer by Ariel Colón, but the Aggies responded with an 8-3 run to pull within one, 15-14. Elon moved back ahead by four, 20-16, on a three from Jaylin Powell, but a 4-2 run by North Carolina A&T to close out the quarter narrowed the Phoenix’s lead to two, 22-20.
Elon continued its hot shooting in the second while picking up its efforts on the defensive end. Maupin hit a jumper at the 7:51 mark to put Elon up by six, 26-20, and had that lead again at the 3:23 mark on a three from Liles that made the score 35-29. The Aggies went on a 4-0 run to bring their deficit within two, 35-33, but Elon answered with an 8-0 run to go up by 10, 43-33, before taking a 44-36 lead into the locker room.
The Phoenix’s offensive cooled a little in the third, but the Aggies struggled to find the net in the period. Elon went up by 10, 50-40, on a Powell three-pointer with 4:19 left in the quarter. N.C. A&T got the score down to seven, 53-46, on a three by Foy, but Elon increased its advantage over the Aggies ignited by Nance’s play. The redshirt freshman scored the next 10 points for the Phoenix including a three with six seconds left in the quarter to put Elon up by 13, 62-49, going into the final quarter.
In the fourth, both teams struggled offensively going a combined 5-of-26 from the field. Elon went 1-of-10 in the period overall, but hit nine free throws in the quarter. After a layup by McCray at the 8:42 mark, the Aggies were held without a field goal for eight-plus minutes. Elon hit its lone field goal of the quarter on a Munford layup with 5:28 left to play that made the score 66-54. A free throw by Munford with 4:26 remaining made the score 68-54, tying Elon’s largest lead of the game. N.C. A&T went on a 6-0 run at the free throw line to trim the Phoenix’s lead to 68-60, with 1:53 in the game, but could not muster enough offense as Elon hit enough free throws down the stretch and emerged with the nine-point win, 73-64.
• The 10 points for Nance was a career-high for the Charlotte, N.C., native. The guard was 2-of-3 from the floor and hit 4-of-6 from the free throw line.
• The victory was the 299th for the Phoenix at the Division I level. It was also the 1,300th game played all-time as a program.
• Elon head coach Charlotte Smith won her 144th career game as a head coach and her second all-time versus North Carolina A&T.
• Maupin led the Phoenix in minutes played with 29. Nine other players played between 12 and 25 minutes for Elon.
• Elon tied its season-high with its 10 three-pointers made.
Elon wraps up the 2018 portion of its schedule on Saturday, Dec. 22, hosting Auburn at Schar Center. That game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.