The Elon University women’s basketball team picked up a rare road blowout on Monday night with a 68-49 win over the Georgia Southern University Eagles.
Senior guard Kelsey Harris led the Phoenix in scoring with 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting, while sophomore guard Jessica Farmer tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, as the team used a steady balance of defense and team scoring to rack up its second conference victory of the season.
The two sides exchanged baskets in the early going and after a few minutes neither side had any advantage as the score remained even at five apiece. But, the Phoenix went on a 9-0 run capped off by a jumper from junior forward Shannen Cochraham to take a 14-5 lead. A three from Georgia Southern senior guard Lacie Dowling ended the run, but the Phoenix lead only grew larger.
A Harris jumper started a 14-5 run, ballooning Elon’s lead to 28-13. The Phoenix was unable to extend its lead any further in the opening period as the two teams entered halftime with Elon in control, 33-17.
In the second half, the Phoenix was unable to extend its lead much further. As the sides exchanged baskets, it looked as if the big first half lead Elon built up would prove to be enough. But, the Phoenix was still determined to push ahead and with 10:56 remaining in the contest, the Phoenix extended its lead to a game-high 21 off of another three-pointer from junior guard Zora Stephenson.
Georgia Southern did its best to cut the lead, but found themselves down by 20 once more with 8:59 remaining after a Harris assist led to a Farmer layup. A three from Georgia Southern junior guard Anna Claire Knight brought the Eagles back to within 13 with the score 57-44, but her efforts ultimately proved futile as Elon was able to leave town with a convincing 19-point victory.
The Phoenix did an excellent job distributing the basketball with four players recording double figures, including ten points apiece from bench players Cochraham and Farmer. All seven players that scored for Elon had at least eight points but no more than 12.
Elon’s group effort offensively showed as the team shot a solid 42.4 percent from the field on 25 of 59 shooting and also managing a strong 71.4 percent from the free-throw line.
Georgia Southern struggled mightily, as the Phoenix defense kept the Eagles on lockdown for much of the night. Knight scored a game-high 17 points on 6 of 20 shooting, but was the only player to manage double figures for the Eagles.
Georgia Southern shot just 24.6 percent from the field on a poor 17 of 69 shooting while also committing 21 turnovers. The Phoenix defense also blocked 11 shots, six of which came via freshman forward Jenifer Rhodes.
With the win, Elon improves to 6-10 on the year and 2-3 in the Southern Conference. With the loss, Georgia Southern drops to 5-12 and 3-3 in conference play.
The Phoenix will return home for more Southern Conference action with rival Appalachian State University coming to Alumni Gym on Friday Jan. 17 with tip off scheduled for 7p.m. The team will then wrap up its weekend at home with a contest against Western Carolina University on Sunday Jan. 19 with tip off scheduled for 2 p.m.