The Elon women’s basketball team put up its finest offensive showing of the season following an eight-day break for the holidays with an 81-71 victory against the Furman University Paladins on Monday, Dec. 29.
Sophomore forward Jenifer Rhodes scored a season-high 15 points, the most since her 10-point showing against NC State on Dec. 7 as the Phoenix took advantage off a season-low turnover margin by only committing nine for the entirety of the game.
It was freshman guard Shay Burnett who stole the show for Elon as she led the team in scoring with 18 total points. Burnett was one of six different players who scored in double figures for the Phoenix.
Freshman center Malaya Johnson joined in on the fun with a double-figure game of her own as she registered 13 points and three blocks. Sophomore guard Essence Baucom finished the game with a career-high 13 points and senior guards Sam Coffer and Zora Stephenson each finished with 10 points.
It was an up and down battle for a majority of the first half with each team trading leads throughout. The Paladins saw their biggest lead come with 14:16 to go in the first half when they led the Phoenix by nine points. Elon tied the game back up after a successful run started by a jumper by Burnett that pulled the score to 21-21.
Furman took the lead back with just under four minutes to go in the first half before buckets by Coffer and Rhodes gave the Phoenix a lead they would maintain for the remainder of the game.
The second half saw a short run by the Paladins early on that closed the gap between the two teams to a mere point. A three-pointer by Burnett though, jump-started a Phoenix run that gave way to Elon’s largest lead of the night at 16 points to make the score 70-54.
The Phoenix closed out the game on successful attempts at the free-throw line after Furman intentionally fouled to stay in the game leading to Elon securing the 10-point victory.
Elon will play its last game of 2014 on New Years Eve against Lenoir-Rhyne University at Alumni Gym in a 2 p.m. tip-off.