The Elon University women’s basketball team survived a late surge from Samford University to win, 44-43, in its final game of the regular season March 2 at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Ala.

The Phoenix led 24-14 at the half, holding Samford to just 19.2 percent shooting in the first half.  Elon shot 40.7 percent from the field in the first half, led by junior Sam Coffer’s five points.Samford MBB

Samford went on a 13-2 run to start the second half, but Elon’s bench scoring was key down the stretch as the Phoenix was able to hold on.  Elon led 44-43 with 1:56 to play when its defense came up big.

After a Phoenix turnover with 27 seconds left gave the ball back to the Bulldogs, Samford’s Hannah Nichols went to the line, where she missed a free throw that would have tied the game.  But the Bulldogs were able to come down with the offensive rebound and had a chance to win the game.  As time expired, Samford’s Kate Fletcher shot a 3-pointer that was blocked by Coffer, sealing the win for the Phoenix.

AppState w2w4Elon shot 34 percent on the afternoon, with Coffer scoring eight points, the most of any Elon starter.  The Phoenix scored 23 points off of the bench, as sophomore Jessica Farmer scored eight points and junior Shannen Cochraham netted seven.

The game marked the first time this season that an Elon player failed to reach double-digits in scoring.  In addition, the performance was Elon’s second lowest-scoring game of the season, only scoring fewer points Dec. 16 against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in a 66-43 loss.

Elon finishes the season with a record of 14-15 and 10-8 in the Southern Conference.  With the win, the Phoenix clinched the No. 5 seed in Southern Conference Tournament.  Elon will play the No. 4 seed Appalachian State University at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, March 8, in Kimmel Arena in Asheville, N.C.

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