The Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball team took to the court in Alumni Gym on Saturday to face the visiting Furman Paladins.
The starting lineups for each team are as follows:
Guard Lee Stevens
Guard Raegan Thompson
Center Susan Troutman
Center Lakyn Ledfor
Guard Ali Ford
Guard Kallie Hovatter
Guard Tiffany Davis
Forward Kelsey Evans
Forward Urysla Cotton
At the 15:43 mark in the first half, Furman has used a quick, early run to get out to an 11-4 lead. The Paladins have been on fire from the start as they are shooting 80% (4-5) from the field and 66% (2-3) from three. Every single point has come from guard Lee Stephens, who has yet to miss on six attempts.Meanwhile, Elon is having a tough time getting shots to drop as they are only shooting 17% (2-12).
With 12:01 remaining, the Phoenix shooting struggles continue as they are still down, 18-6. Stephens has still yet to miss for Furman and has 14 points now to lead all scorers. Hovatter, Davis, and Lei Lei Hairston all have two points for Elon.
With 6:24 left in the first half, Elon is trailing the Paladins by a score of 25-16. The home team is using their deep bench to get all of their players involved as 13 Phoenix have taken the court. Coach Karen Barefoot is trying to get some fresh legs out on the floor. Four players have two points for Elon while Stephens still leads Furman with 15. Kendra Berry has come off the bench for Furman and has six points herself.
The first half is winding down and Elon is making a serious push to get back into this game. Thanks to high pressure on defense from a full court press and shots starting to drop, Elon is only down three as Furman leads 32-29. Ali Ford has caught fire in this game and has scored 11 points in a four minute span. Courtney Medley has also given the Phoenix some life as she has contributed nine points and is perfect from three point range (3-3). The full court press has derailed the Paladin’s offense and caused them to make more and more turnovers. Both teams have 11 so far.
At the half, Elon has made this a ball game again as they only trail by a score of 36-32. Elon’s defense has been outstanding in causing pressure. Lee Stephens has not been able to get off any more clean, open shots as every single attempt of hers is met with a hand in her face. This ferocious defensive front has also limited the Paladin’s shot attempts. Furman has a much better shooting percentage than Elon (56%-36%) but the Phoenix have kept it close because they have gotten off more shots (36 attempts for Elon, 25 for Furman). Ali Ford leads Elon with 15 points. She and Courtney Medley each have all of Elon’s three threes.
Just less than five minutes in to the second half, Elon has continued their hustling play to condense the lead to one. Furman now only leads 42-41. Elon has destroyed the Paladins on the boards the entire game, leading 25-14. One thing that Elon needs to try and do better is get to the free throw line. Furman is 5-9 from the line but the Phoenix only have one free throw attempt (which Ali Ford missed). If they get to the line more, that can only help the Phoenix establish a lead.
With 6:47 remaining, Elon is still down one to Furman, 54-53. It has been a back and forth battle so far in the second half; one team scores and another answers right back. Their is a great deal of excitement in Alumni Gym today as a larger than average crowd is getting veri involved in the game. Elon really has a home court advantage today.
With 3:55 left in the game .Elon has jumped ahead to take a 60-55 lead. Ali Ford has been great for Elon all game, scoring 23 points on the Paladins and dishing seven assists. Lee Stephens of Furman has had little second half success as Elon’s defense is still giving her fits. Kendra Berry has done a good job trying to step up for the Paladins, contributing ten points, but Elon now seems to have an answer for anything they throw their way.
Elon has defeated Furman 63-61. Furman made a late push to try and catch Elon, but it was too little too late. Elon’s next game is at home against Wofford on Monday, the 18th, at 7:00 PM.