Elon Phoenix vs. UNC Greensboro Spartans

The Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball team went on the road on Wednesday, January 13, to Fleming Gym to take on the UNC Greensboro Spartans. The Phoenix entered the bout with a 6-9 overall record while being 2-5 in SoCon play, hoping to win another conference match while the UNCG hoped to improve their 5-9, 3-4 Conference record.

Tonight’s starting Lineups are as follows:

Elon Phoenix

Guard Ali Ford

Guard Kallie Hovatter

Guard  Tiffany Davis

Foward Kelsey Evans

Foward Urysla Cotton

UNC Greensboro

Guard Amanda Leigh

Guard Monique Floyd

Guard Lakiah Hyson

Forward Kendra Smith

Forward Amy Clapper

With 15:35 left in the first half, Elon has a 9-7 lead over ther Spartans. Ali Ford leads all scorers with six points as she is a perfect 2-2 from three point range. Monique Floyd leads UNCG with five points. The Phoenix has shown a lot of hustle with two steals already but the Spartans are winning the rebounding battle, 10-2. Elon is shooting much better from the field, though, as they are shooting 50% (3-6) while Greensboro is only shooting 27% (3-11).

At the 11:00 mark in the first half, the Spartans lead Elon 16-15.  Elon has gone a little cold shooting wise as they are now only posting a 45% field goal (5-11) while Greensboro is even worse at 37% (7-19). Bot teams are missing shots and finding difficulty capitalizing on their possessions. Both teams are also a combined 3-6 from the charity stripe and not making their freebies. The Spartans are also dominating the rebounding battle still by nearly doubling the Phoenix total, 13-7. Both teams are also getting their benches much more involved and spreading out playing time to give ample rest.

With 7:53 remaining in the first twenty minutes, the Phoenix are trailing UNCG by six as the score is 25-19. Both teams are playing sloppy basketball. Elon has seven turnovers while the Spartans have five themselves. Ali Ford still leads Elon with six points as she has yet to take another shot since the first three minutes of the game while Lakiah Hyson has contributed nine points for Greensboro.

Now with 3:49 remaining in the half, the Spartans still lead Elon by a score of 29-24. Shooting struggles and turnovers continue to be the biggest problems for each team. Elon is shooting 42% (8-19) while UNCG is no better, posting a poor 34% (12-35) themselves. The Spartans are especially cold from three as they are only 2-9. Meanwhile, Elon has given the ball away eight times and the Spartans have 6 turnovers themselves. Greensboro is having a lot of success driving the lane which is keeping them in the lead. Elon will have to do a better job at controlling the ball and stopping the Spartans from scoring in the paint.

At the half, it has turned out to be all Spartans as UNC Greensboro is now dominating the Phoenix, 44-26. Elon could not buy a bucket in the last four minutes as they went scoreless from the 4:22 mark till there was only 36 ticks left. UNCG is now taking advantage of the 13 Elon turnovers by increasing their shooting percentage to 42% (17-41) while the Phoenix only shot 36% (9-25). The Spartans are excelling on the boards, leading Elon in the category by an outstanding total of 31-15. The two players leading the charge for the home team Spartans is Lakiah Hyson who has 17 points, the most in the game. Meanwhile, Elon is still lead by Ali Ford who has had much difficulty getting off shots so far around this tough Greensboro defense. She is only 2-4 from the field, all coming from behind the three point arc. If Elon wants to make a comeback, they are going to have to shoot much better from the field and the free throw line (where they are only 5-11), limit their turnovers, and box out to try and get a better presence on the boards.

With 15:08 left in the game, Elon is still down big. UNC Greensboro is leading in this one, 56-41. The Phoenix have shot much better in the second half, having a 64% (7-11) in the first five minutes after the half. Courtney Medley is leading the comeback attempt for Elon with nine points with Urysla Cotton contributing eight herself. For the Spartans, they have continued to putt pressure on the Phoenix on defense and use Elon’s turnovers to their advantage. UNCG still leads the battle on the boards, 34-23, but the visitors are starting to put up a fight for rebounds. Lakiah Hyson is still leading Greensboro with 19 points.

At the 11:23 mark, UNCG has a 60-47 lead. Both teams are going back and forth on offense and defense, failing to either increase/decrease the lead. The Spartans are in the bonus as Elon has nine team fouls while UNCG only has five. Greensboro has used the charity stripe as an advantage for a majority of the game, compared to Elon. The home team has shot 63% (10-16) from the free throw line while Elon has posted a dismal 42% (6-13) from there.

Only 7:55 remains in this game and if the Phoenix want to catch up they will have to move fast. They are trailing UNCG, 68-54. Elon is making up ground in the statistical categories that were hurting them in the first half, such as rebounds and field goal percentage, but they are falling behind anyway. The tough and physical Spartans defense has kept the visiting Phoenix from attempting anywhere close to the same amount of shots as their counterparts. Greensboro has 62 attempts while Elon has only been able to muster up 49. Lakiah Hyson has been the clear choice for MVP so far in this game as she has posted a game high 26 points in an outstanding performance. She is shooting only 42% (8-19) from the field but has been a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. She also has the possibility of posting a double-double  as Hyson has contributed seven rebounds and two assists Ursyla Cotton leads Elon with 13 points.

A comeback is looking less and less likely by the second as the Phoenix continue to trail the UNCG Spartans by a score of 77-57 with 3:46 left in the game. Greensboro has not let up in their intensity on offense or defense as they have kept the pressure on their opponents constantly. The Spartans have forced 23 turnovers so far and have 13 team steals. These have led to 24 fast break points for UNC Greensboro while the Phoenix only have 14.

The game has come to an end and unfortunetly, it is not an outcome Phoenix fans wanted. The UNC Greensboro Spartans have defeated the Elon Phoenix by a score of 84-70. Lakiah Hyson led all scorers with 29 points and Monique FLoyd put up a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ursyla Cotton led Elon with 17 points while Ali Ford chipped in 16. The Phoenix will play their next five games at Alumni Gym and face Wofford there on Saturday.

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