ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team fell 74-46 to Colonial Athletic Association leader James Madison on Friday night, Feb. 22, inside Schar Center.
Brie Perpignan led the Phoenix (8-16, 3-10 CAA) with 11 points, the ninth time this season she has scored in double figures. Overall, Elon was held to 14-for-54 shooting overall (25.9 percent) against one of the toughest teams defensively in the nation in the Dukes. JMU also won the battle on the boards, 43-28.
James Madison (21-4, 13-1 CAA) had five players score in double figures led by Kamiah Smalls’ 16. Logan Reynolds, Lexie Barrier and Jackie Benitez added 11 while Devon Merrit contributed with 10. Kayla Cooper-Williams had a game-high 12 rebounds along with three blocks after coming into the game leading the CAA in both categories.
James Madison opened the game on a 10-2 run before Elon converted its first field goal on a layup from Ariana Nance near the midway point of the quarter. The Dukes however increased their lead to 20-5 on a Benitez jumper at the 3:02 mark and moved to a 25-9 cushion after the opening period.
The Dukes ballooned their advantage to 20, 34-14, on a three-pointer by Smalls with 6:29 left in the first half. Back-to-back three pointers from Nance and Jaylin Powell made it a 14-point game, 34-20, as the Phoenix looked to build some momentum. JMU closed out the half on an 8-3 run to take a 19-point lead into the locker room, 42-23.
Elon opened the second half on a 7-2 run sparked by an Emily Maupin layup to begin the third. A Powell three-point play followed to bring the score to 42-28 before Reynolds answered with a layup. A pair of free throws by Anna Popovic at the 7:59 mark brought Elon back within 14, 44-30, but James Madison answered with a 19-4 run the rest of the stanza to build its lead to 63-34.
The Dukes started the fourth with a couple of baskets, but Elon followed with a 7-0 run to chip at JMU’s lead. The deficit was too much to overcome for the maroon and gold as the Dukes came away with the 74-46 win to sweep the regular-season series.
Elon’s three-game homestand concludes with a visit from Towson on Sunday, Feb. 24. That game is slated for a 2 p.m. start time at Schar Center.