Battling another slow start, senior guard Ali Ford pulled the Elon University women’s basketball team within two at the halftime break with back-to-back 3-pointers, but the Phoenix ultimately dropped their second straight game Dec. 29 on the road against East Carolina University, 71-64.

Trailing 39-27 with 3:24 remaining in the first half, Ford knocked down a 3-pointer that sparked a 10-0 Elon run to close out the half. Ford ended the half by knocking down another shot from range with just three seconds left on the clock.

Carrying momentum into the second half, Elon and East Carolina battled back and forth throughout the half.

With four minutes to go in the game, senior forward Kelsey Evans knocked down a jumper to give the Phoenix a 60-59 lead, but it would be the final lead of the game for Elon. East Carolina finished on a 12-4 run to improve to 9-3 on the season.

The loss drops Elon to 4-6 with one more non-conference game remaining on the season.

Evans recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 13 rebounds while Ford finished with 17 points and seven assists. Elon shot 36.4 percent from the field, only making two 3-pointers; the two Ford knocked down going into the break on the 10-0 run.

East Carolina was led by senior forward Whitny Edwards with 18 points. Senior center Britny Edwards scored 14 points while pulling down 12 rebounds. Junior forward Kristine Mial tallied 14 points off the bench for the Pirates.

After playing just four games in 21 days, Elon will finish a three-game road trip on Monday afternoon in Greensboro against North Carolina A&T University. The quick turnaround will help the Phoenix get a jumpstart on what Southern Conference play will be like when it starts on January 5, 2013, as the Phoenix will play three games in five nights against Samford University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Wofford College.

In 15 games against North Carolina A&T, Elon holds the series lead at 10-5. However, the Aggies have gotten the best of the Phoenix in the last three matchups, most recently topping Elon 90-60 on Nov. 20, 2008.

Elon last beat North Carolina A&T by a score of 75-70 Nov. 18, 2005.