The Elon University women’s basketball team entered this past week with a four-game stretch in eight days ahead.

The Phoenix finished the week 3-1 after its 77-68 victory over the College of Charleston Cougars on Sunday, Jan. 11 at Alumni Gym.

Senior guard Zora Stephenson put together her best performance of the season with a 27-point showing after going 7-13 from three point range and being a perfect 4-4 on free-throw shots. To join Stephenson in double figure points were freshman center Malaya Johnson (10) and sophomore guard Lauren Brown (10).

The Phoenix weren’t all that efficient shooting from the field, having only made 42 percent of its shots, as were its shots from three-point range (35 percent). The Elon defense, however, held the Cougar offense in check for most of the game as the CofC shot a mere 28 percent from beyond the arc and was 43 percent from the field.

Elon held the advantage for a majority of the first half, highlighted by an early 13-1 run that gave the Phoenix a 25-10 lead with 14:16 left. An ensuing three-point shot by Stephenson extended the lead to 17 points; the largest of the night.

The Cougars chipped away at the lead to cut the score to 33-22 with two minutes remaining in the half before Zora Stephenson put up her sixth-made three point shot along with a jump-shot by sophomore Jenifer Rhodes that gave the Phoenix a 38-24 lead as it went into the locker room.

The CofC dominated the opening ten minutes of the second half and even obtained its first lead of the game at the 9:50 mark to make the score 49-47 in the Cougars’ favor.

A 9-4 run, that included a jumper by Stephenson, helped Elon regain the lead for an eight-point advantage with just over four minutes left to play. A three-pointer by Lauren Brown with 1:15 left acted as the dagger for the Cougars as it was forced to intentionally foul the Phoenix, who rode all ten of its ensuing free-throw shots to a nine point victory.

After a few days of the rest, the Elon women will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 15 against the defending CAA champions in James Madison University. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Alumni Gym.

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