Written by UNCG Sports Information Dept.
ELON, N.C. - A spirited effort by the UNCG women's basketball team fell just short Monday night as Elon rallied for a 71-60 Southern Conference win at Alumni Gym. The Spartans fell to 3-12 overall and 0-6 in SoCon play while the Phoenix improved to 8-7 and 5-1.
"I thought we showed great effort for most of the game tonight," head coach Wendy Palmer said. "Hopefully this performance will give us confidence that we can play with anyone in this league and be successful. I look forward to getting back into the gym and continuing to improve with this young team."
Junior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) posted her second-straight double-double and third of the season, racking up 17 points and 14 rebounds with nine of the boards coming on the offensive glass.
Freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) also reached double figures offensively with 12 points to go along with a career high-tying seven rebounds. She also posted a team-best three steals as UNCG totaled 12 in the contest.
The Spartans suffered from a cold shooting second half in which they hit just seven of 33 attempts. The Blue and Gold finished at 30 percent for the contest after knocking down 19 of 64 from the field. Elon won the battle on the boards by a 45-36 count, but UNCG picked up 18 offensive rebounds to the Phoenix' 14. Additionally, the Spartans recorded 13 assists on their 19 buckets and committed just 14 turnovers while forcing Elon into 23 of its own.
A jumper by Stevenson at the 17:47 mark gave UNCG a 7-2 advantage but a layup by Kelsey Harris pulled the Phoenix to within one at 9-8. The Spartans were able to stretch their advantage all the way to eight points when Mason dropped in a layup to cap a 7-0 run, but a three by Ali Ford kept the home team close as UNCG led 16-13 with 10:38 on the clock.
The Phoenix took their first lead of the game when Shon Redmond hit a jumper at the 7:03 mark to make the score 22-21, but the Spartans had the answer again as freshman guard Ebona Goins (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) nailed a triple from the left wing to push the UNCG cushion out to 31-24 with 4:20 left in the half.
The lead reached double figures at 34-24 when junior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) hit the Spartans' fourth trey of the half, however, Elon scored the last eight points of the first 20 minutes to slice its deficit to just 34-32 heading into the break.
Senior forward Sidnei Harmon (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) put in a jumper at the buzzer but she did not get the ball out of her hands in time.
Mason paced UNCG with nine points in the first half while Harris recorded 10 for the Phoenix. The teams ended up tied in rebounds at 22 apiece while each squad also shot 39 percent from the field.
A layup by Stevenson put the Spartans back in front at 36-35 with 19:31 left in the contest but a jumper by Kelsey Evans put Elon ahead 42-38 at the 17:03 mark. Stevenson then converted an old fashioned three-point play before two free throws by Goins gave UNCG the lead again, 43-42.
The Spartans went cold over the next five minutes, allowing the Phoenix to seize control of the game. UNCG scored just three points during the stretch while Elon ran the score all the way up to 54-43 with 11:30 on the clock. A layup by Mason pulled the Blue and Gold to within nine, but Zora Stephenson hit a dagger of a three to extend the Phoenix cushion to 57-45. The Spartans attempted to rally down the stretch, but could not draw within less than 10 the rest of the way.
UNCG plays the third of a four-game road swing when it travels up to the mountains for a Sunday matinee at Appalachian State. Tipoff from the Holmes Convocation Center is set for 2 p.m.
UNCG Sports Information Dept.