The Elon University women’s basketball team defeated the College of William and Mary Tribe, 64-60 on Sunday, Feb. 22. Senior forward Sam Coffer made 100 percent of her shots from the floor, making six field goals and four three pointers, including one with 34 seconds remaining to give the Phoenix a four point lead.
“I’m shooting with more confidence in these past few games,” Coffer said. “I think that’s what makes them go in, confidence.”
Elon struggled to find a rhythm on offense in the first half, shooting just 16 percent from the floor and making only five shots total, and leading for only 14 seconds. The Phoenix managed to outrebound the Tribe 27-21 in the half but were unable to capitalize. William and Mary controlled the first half and led at halftime, 26-21.
The Phoenix found success in the second half with better shooting and strong defense. A pair of steals by junior guard Josepha Mbouma and sophomore forward Jenifer Rhodes gave the Phoenix its first lead since the opening minutes of the game. Despite leading for just 2:32 of game time, the Phoenix found success near the end as Coffer hit a three and freshman center Malaya Johnson made a layup to tie the game at 57 with 2:34 remaining.
Elon’s offense picked up significantly in the second half, as it improved to 57 percent shooting from the floor and 56 percent from beyond the arc, respectively. Coffer scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half. Freshman guard Shay Burnett had 12 in the second half, finishing with 13 points and five assists. She also started the second half with a steal that set the tempo for the Phoenix.
“I knew that she was trying to pass it to the high post,” Burnett said. “I anticipated her pass, and went down and hit the and-1.”
The Phoenix outrebounded the Tribe, 50-35, snagging 27 boards on defense and 23 on offense. Burnett had 10 rebounds, Rhodes had eight and Coffer had seven, establishing a presence in the paint. The game was physical, with William and Mary committing 27 fouls while the Phoenix had 15.
Elon previously bested William and Mary Jan. 9, 72-59, in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“We knew that this isn’t a team that we can take lightly,” said head coach Charlotte Smith. “I was impressed with how much they’ve improved since the first time we played them.”
With the victory, Elon moves to 16-10 overall with a 9-6 record in CAA play. The team travels first to Philadelphia, PA. Feb. 27, and Hempstead, NY., Mar. 1, to take on Drexel University and Hofstra University, before returning home Mar. 4 to face the University of Delaware in the last game of the season before CAA tournament play begins.