Elon Stifles Women’s Basketball, 70-57
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women's basketball team continued its struggles at home in league play Saturday, falling to Elon 70-57 inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans drop to 5-19 overall and 2-13 in Southern Conference play while the Phoenix move to 13-11 and 10-5.
After UNCG took a one-point lead into the half, Elon shot 64 percent from the field in the second stanza to pull away from the home team. The Phoenix also amassed a 40-33 rebounding advantage, including 17 offensive boards that led to 12 second-chance points. Elon employed an effective press which forced the Spartans to turn the ball over 17 times while the visitors also saw their bench score 20 points. UNCG shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half to end up at 40 percent for the contest.
Junior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) knocked down four three-point field goals on her way to a game-high 18 points. She led three Spartans in double figures offensively as freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) and sophomore guard Jessica Collins (Raleigh, N.C./Eckerd College) chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively. Patterson and junior forward Janae' Stephenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) paced UNCG on the glass with six rebounds apiece while Stevenson posted her 100th career block.
After a quiet first half, Ali Ford scored 13 points in the second period to lead Elon with 15. Kelsey Evans was effective on the glass, pulling down 14 rebounds.
The Phoenix came out of the gates on fire, scoring the first seven points of the afternoon before Patterson sparked an 8-0 UNCG run with a jumper in the paint. After Mason made the score 8-7 in favor of the Spartans at the 14:37 mark, Elon would score the next 14 points to take a commanding 21-8 advantage with 9:32 remaining in the half.
UNCG clamped down defensively from there, holding the Phoenix scoreless for the next six minutes and change. With the Blue and Gold trailing 21-13 with 8:20 left before the break, Patterson and Collins drained three-straight triples to give UNCG a 22-21 lead and force a Phoenix timeout. Patterson answered a Shon Redmond layup with one of her own before Jessica Farmer knocked down a jumper to make the score 25-24 in favor of Elon with 2:11 on the clock. Stevenson would have the half's last word, scoring a bucket with nine seconds remaining and ensure a halftime advantage for the Spartans. UNCG played solid defense in the final few seconds as the Phoenix did not get a good look at the basket.
Patterson reached double figures in the first 20 minutes with 10 points to lead all scorers while Redmond scored six for Elon. Stevenson and Evans both pulled down five rebounds to lead their respective squads. The Phoenix held a slight 23-21 advantage on the glass and the teams combined for 17 turnovers.
The Spartans had a strong start to the second half as a Patterson layup gave UNCG a 30-27 lead, but Elon rattled off 11-straight points to take command 38-30 with 15:31 remaining in the game. The Phoenix advantage grew all the way to 16 at 53-37 when Farmer nailed a jumper in the paint at the 9:57 mark, but Patterson knocked down a three to keep UNCG within striking distance, 53-43, with 8:31 on the clock.
Patterson and Collins did their best down the stretch to make a game of it, but after Collins hit from range to make the score 60-53 at the 3:08 mark, Zora Stephenson responded with a triple herself to keep the Spartans at bay. After Mason hit a jumper with 1:38 left to go, Elon scored four points at the foul line to salt the game away.
UNCG returns to the court Monday, Feb. 18, when it plays host to Furman. Tipoff inside Fleming Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- UNCG -