CHARLESTON, S.C. – Behind a career-high 22 points from junior guard Lexi Mercer, the Elon University women’s basketball team came away with a 72-52 victory at College of Charleston in a Colonial Athletic Association road contest on Sunday, Feb. 10, inside TD Arena.
Elon (8-14, 3-8 CAA) used a dominating first-half performance by Mercer to break its seven-game overall losing skid. The junior guard had 21 points in the opening half going a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor including 5-of-5 from downtown, tying a career-high in three-pointers made all within the first 20 minute of the game.
Overall, the Phoenix shot 24-of-55 from the floor and was 8-of-16 from three. Elon also took advantage of its trips to the foul line, going 16-of-18 from the charity stripe. Jaylin Powell was the other Phoenix player in double figures with 10 points while Emily Maupin nearly had a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
CofC (7-15, 3-8 CAA) saw its two-game win streak come to a close with the setback to the Phoenix. The Cougars shot 22-of-69 from the floor, but was 2-of-20 from downtown and only 6-of-12 from the free throw line. Deja Ford led the Cougars with 12 points.
Charleston would open the game with the first points on a layup by Ford, but that would be the only time the Cougars would lead in the contest. Elon would go on a 7-0 run after CofC’s basket to go up 7-2 before the Cougars answered with a three to make it a two-point game. Back-to-back threes from Mercer put the Phoenix up 13-5 with the lead growing to 17-7 on a pair of Powell free throws. CofC closed out the opening quarter with a pair of buckets to make it 17-11 after the first.
Mercer continued her strong play in the second quarter. After the Cougars cut the Phoenix’s lead to four, 17-13, the Goldsboro, N.C., native scored eight unanswered points including two three-pointers to put Elon up by 12, 25-13. A layup by Mercer gave Elon its largest lead of the quarter, 29-15, but a 7-0 run by the Cougars brought them back into the game down 29-22. The Phoenix would eventually go into the locker room up by six, 33-27, over CofC.
A huge third quarter by the Phoenix helped the maroon and gold pull away from Charleston. Elon outscored CofC, 25-8, in the period while hitting 8-of-15 from the floor and holding the Cougars to 4-of-16 from the field. Charleston’s Tyler Collins made a layup at the 6:17 mark of the third to pull the Cougars within nine, 42-33, but Elon went on a 16-2 run the rest of the way to take a 58-35 lead into the final period.
Charleston battled back to outscore the Phoenix, 17-14, in the fourth, but Elon’s lead never trickled under 20 points as maroon and gold coasted to a 72-52 victory.
The Phoenix returns home to host William & Mary on Sunday, Feb. 17, at Schar Center. That game is scheduled to tip-off at 1 p.m. The program will host its annual Play4Kay game in honor of breast cancer awareness. Fans are also encouraged to donate to Play4Kay on the behalf of the Elon women’s basketball program and can do so by going to https://support.kayyow.com/elonwbasketball or go to the team’s schedule page.