The Elon University women’s basketball team gave the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill all it could handle in the first half on Sunday, Dec. 21.

It proved to not be enough, though, as the Tar Heels pulled away in the second half and the Phoenix fell 85-67 on cold and rainy day in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Senior guard Sam Coffer led the Phoenix in scoring with 16 total points with her efficient shooting from the field (60 percent) and from three-point range (66.7 percent) while sophomore guard Lauren Brown scored a season-best 15 points, with 13 coming in the first half alone.

Freshman center Malaya Johnson continued her impressive play this season, scoring 10 points of her own to get three players in double-figures for the Phoenix.

It was a game of runs for both teams in the first half as the Tar-Heels went on a 22-4 run early to take an 18-point advantage, before Elon responded with a streak of its own to make it only a five point game with less than five minutes remaining.

Elon only trailed UNC by three points at the half after a 29-6 run that ended with a pivotal jumper by junior guard Lauren Hudson with 12 seconds remaining.

It was an 11-0 run by the Tar Heels to start the second half that was the back-breaker for the Phoenix as it never seemed to find another rhythm offensively for the remainder of the game.

Turnovers especially cost the Phoenix in second half with 14 giveaways that paved the way for the UNC run. Elon cut the lead late in the game by going on an 8-0 run to make the final deficit only 18 points.

The Phoenix will resume play after the holidays on Monday, Dec. 29 when it returns home to Alumni Gym to play Furman University at 7 p.m.

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