TOWSON, Md. – The Elon University women’s basketball team dropped its third straight Colonial Athletic Association contest as the Phoenix fell to Towson, 59-58, on Friday night, Jan. 25, at the SECU Arena. The Tigers outscored the maroon and gold, 25-10, in the third quarter to help secure the win.
Elon (7-10, 2-4 CAA) still had a chance for the win in the final moments of the game, but saw both its chances come up short. Towson improved to 6-1 in league play to stay tied with James Madison at the top of the CAA standings and went to 12-6 overall. The Tigers also improved its ledger to 6-0 on its home floor.
The Phoenix shot 24-of-65 (.369) from the floor overall as a team. Emily Maupin had 15 points for Elon, her 12th double-digit scoring effort of the season. Kayla Liles and Brie Perpignan both had 11 for the maroon and gold, with Perpignan scoring nine of her points in the fourth quarter.
Towson’s Nukiya Mayo had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds in the contest. Ryan Holder added 13 while Kionna Jeter, the CAA’s leading scorer at 21.8 points per game going into the contest, was held to 10, snapping a six-game streak of her scoring 20 points or more. The Tigers won the battle on the boards, 52-38, with Towson earning 20 offensive rebounds in its favor.
Towson opened the game with a 7-3 lead over the first three minutes of the game, but Elon came back with an 8-0 run to move up 11-7 with four minutes left in the first period. The run started on back-to-back baskets from Ariel Colón and Liles each. A Towson jumper from Jaylynn Holmes brought the Tigers within two, 11-9, but Elon closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run to take an 18-11 lead into the second.
A Lexi Mercer three-point play gave the Phoenix a nine-point lead, 21-12, early in the second quarter. Jeter came back with a jumper on the next possession, but two more buckets from Liles extended Elon’s lead to 11, 25-14. A Perpignan layup with 3:43 left in the half put the Phoenix back up by 11, 29-18, as Elon eventually went into the break ahead 10, 32-22.
Towson came out of the locker room and put up six unanswered points to cut Elon’s lead to four, 32-28, forcing the Phoenix to call a timeout. The momentum still swung in the Tigers’ favor however with Towson continuing a 12-0 run to take a 34-32 lead. Liles stopped the Tigers’ run with a free throw followed by a jumper by Anna Popovic that gave Elon the lead, 35-34. The Tigers came back with a 7-0 run to push its lead to six, 41-35, but Elon came back with a Maupin jumper and a Jaylin Powell three to make it a one-point game, 41-40. The quarter would end with the Tigers taking a 47-42 lead into the final 10 minutes.
A Jeter jumper gave the Tigers a 49-42 lead to start the fourth, but Perpignan scored the next eight points for the Phoenix including two free throws to make it a two-point game, 52-50. Maupin would tie the game at 52-all on a jumper, but Mayo responded with a three-pointer to put the Tigers back in front, 55-52. Towson added to its lead with a pair of free throws with five minutes left in the contest, but Mercer hit her second three of the game to bring the Phoenix within two, 57-55. The Phoenix would split a pair of free throws on its next possession, making it a one-point game, but Mayo hit a jumper that put Towson ahead by three, 59-56, with 3:11 remaining.
Neither team would score until it was less than a minute remaining. After the Phoenix forced a Tigers’ turnover, Perpignan raced up the floor and drew the defense into the lane before finding an open Maupin near the free throw line. The Charlottesville, Va., native nailed the shot and made it a one-point game, 59-58, with 54 seconds left in the contest.
The Tigers called a timeout to advance the ball, but Elon forced another turnover and had the ball with a chance to earn the road victory. Perpignan drove the lane and took the shot with nine seconds left, but the ball would hit the back rim. The Phoenix’s Saadia Munford retrieved the ball on an offensive rebound and eventually found Mercer near the free throw line area. The junior was forced to take a tough shot however with the Tigers earning the possession on a jump ball on the rebound. Towson would run out the clock to pick up its first win over the Phoenix since 2015.
Elon closes out its road trip with a visit to James Madison on Sunday, Jan. 27. That game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start time.