The Hofstra University Pride defeated the Elon University women’s basketball team on Sunday, 55-53.
With five seconds remaining in the game, Pride forward Anjie White scored the go-ahead layup that would ultimately be the deciding factor in the game. The Phoenix took the lead moments before when freshman guard Shay Burnett had a three-point play at the other end of the floor.
Elon dominated the game in the first half, and it went into the locker room leading 33-26. The Phoenix went with a lineup that focused on defense, and Hofstra made just 27 percent of its shots from the floor in the first half, and around 22 percent from beyond the arc. Elon led for nearly 31 minutes in the game, with Hofstra leading just five minutes.
“We played a solid first half defensively,” said head coach Charlotte Smith. “That was our goal, to amp up our defense.”
The Phoenix continued to play aggressively in the beginning of the second half, leading by as many as eight. The Pride were not deterred, however, and answered with a pair of jumpers by White to pull them within one. Hofstra took the lead when Kelly Loftus made a three, and the teams would trade the lead until the end of the game. Burnett took the final shot as time expired, but it was no good.
Hofstra outrebounded Elon, 45-34. The Pride grabbed 20 offensive boards to the Phoenix’s nine. The Pride also had 13 steals on the day compared to Elon’s nine.
“I don’t ever feel like I’m controlling a game because I have a lead,” Smith said. “To me, every possession the score is zero to zero.”
On offense, the Phoenix made 41 percent of its shots, compared to the Pride’s 33 percent. Burnett finished with 11, and senior guard Zora Stephenson had 10. Both teams struggled to find a rhythm from beyond the arc, with Elon making 29 percent of its shots and Hofstra making 21 percent. The Phoenix also struggled with field goal shooting in the second half, converting nine shots on 26 attempts, good for a paltry 36 percent.
“We got stagnant at some points and needed to move without the ball,” said senior forward Sam Coffer, who finished with seven points.
The game was very physical defensively, with Elon committing a total of 22 fouls and Hofstra committing 17. Stephenson and sophomore guard Essence Baucom each finished with four fouls, and Coffer and sophomore forward Jenifer Rhodes each had three.
With the loss, Elon falls to 7-6 in CAA conference play, and a 14-10 overall record. Hofstra climbs to 9-5 in the conference with a 16-9 overall record.
The Phoenix’s next game is on Feb. 19, when it travels to Boston, Mass. to take on the Northeastern University Huskies at 7 p.m.