It was too little too late for the Elon University women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 11. A late second half charge by the Phoenix fell short inside Belk Arena in Davidson, as the Phoenix dropped a 67-62 contest to the Wildcats of Davidson College.
Davidson took control early and led 16-7 with 14:35 remaining in the opening half. The Wildcat lead would stretch to as many as 18 at the 8:31 mark of the first half, a 29-11 lead that would be their largest of the game. Elon trimmed the Davidson lead back down to eight after two free throws from sophomore forward Autumn Carter with 2:24 left in the half, but the Wildcats extended their lead back to 12 after 20 minutes of play, a 35-23 Davidson advantage.
A solid shooting performance in the first half keyed Davidson’s lead. The Wildcats shot 47 percent from the field on 14-30 shooting. Elon once again got out to a slow shooting start, finishing the half at just 28 percent shooting.
The Davidson lead was back out to 16 after a three-pointer from junior forward Hannah Early at the 14:22 mark of the second half. A Lauren Brown layup with just under six minutes remaining trimmed the lead down to eight, and a Shannen Cochraham three-point play made it 56-51 with 4:02 to play in the game. The Wildcats maintained a 63-57 lead after a layup from Elon freshman Jenifer Rhodes with 1:16 to go. Brown stole the ball on the ensuing Davidson possession and dished it to Zora Stephenson, who buried a three-pointer to make it a three-point Davidson lead with 51 seconds remaining. Elon got the ball back with a chance to tie the game, but turned the ball over to Davidson and was forced to foul. The Wildcats took advantage and made their free throws, finishing off a 67-62 win.
Elon shot 45 percent from the field in the second half, a needed improvement after a dismal first half of shooting. Senior guard Kelsey Harris led the way for the Phoenix, scoring 18 points. Brown added 15 points and five assists for Elon, while Stephenson tallied 11. Cochraham had five points for the Phoenix after posting a career high of 19 in Elon’s last game against UNCG.
It was a three-player show for the Wildcats. Early led all scorers with 22 points for Davidson. Senior guard Laura Murray scored 20 and sophomore forward Dakota Dukes added 16 in Saturday’s win. Davidson’s next leading scorer was junior guard Lillian McCabe, who scored just three points. The Wildcats’ top three scorers combined for 58 of the team’s 67 total points.
The Elon women drop to 5-10 on the season with the loss, with a record of 1-3 in the SoCon. The loss marks the fourth straight loss for the Phoenix, which drops to 1-6 on the road. The two-game road trip continues for the Phoenix on Monday, Jan. 13, in Statesboro, G.A., for a matchup against Georgia Southern University. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.