Lady Eagles Defeat Elon for Second SoCon Win, 70-58
STATESBORO, Ga. – Junior guard Janay Wilson (Warner Robins, Ga.) swiped the basketball from Elon’s point guard and converted it on the fastbreak to give Georgia Southern a one-point lead, 46-45, midway through the second half. Immediately following Wilson’s layup, the Lady Eagles went on an 11-4 run, with six points from Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.) for a 57-49 lead with four minutes remaining. Elon fouls and subsequent free throws helped the Eagles close out the victory over the Phoenix, 70-58 Saturday afternoon (December 5). Georgia Southern is now 3-4 with a 2-0 mark in the Southern Conference, while Elon picked up a loss in its SoCon opener, with a 2-3 overall record.
Elon tried to push Georgia Southern to a frenetic pace, pressing for a full 40 minutes, but the Lady Eagles maintained their composure and closed out the game with only six turnovers in the second half while causing 15. Georgia Southern hit two more baskets in the second half, 9-7, but the key was 17 points off Elon turnovers to secure the win. The teams battled through four ties and seven lead changes before the Lady Eagles took control of the game.
Guard Carolyn Whitney (Duluth, Ga.) scored her season-high total of the year with 17 points to lead four Lady Eagles in double-figure scoring. J’Lisia Ogburn (Dublin, Ga.) posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Navarro tied her career-best with six steals and finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Senior forward Jessica Geiger (Stone Mountain, Ga.) had her first game this season with double-figure points with 10.
“Elon threw everything at us,” said Lady Eagles Head Coach Rusty Cram. “This is two games in a row now with 40 minutes of pressure and we are handling it better and better each game."
Ali Ford led Elon with 15 points and Julie Taylor came off the bench for seven of her 10 total points in the second half. Kallie Hovatter and Ursula Cotton each had six rebounds for the Phoenix.
Both teams were nearly equal by halftime, shooting 48 percent from the field with Georgia Southern taking an early 18-14 advantage on the boards, but committing 14 turnovers. The Lady Eagles had an 11-2 lead four minutes into the game and held off the Phoenix through much of the first half. An 11-4 run sparked by a layup by Elon’s Ursula Cotton and three-pointer by Julie Taylor made the score 19-16 Georgia Southern at the 8:06 mark.
Geiger hit a jumper from a sharp Navarro pass to pull the Lady Eagle lead up to seven, but Elon’s Tiara Gause drove down the court for a basket, cutting the lead to five with six minutes left until the break. After picking up two points off Phoenix free throws, Hovatter hit her only field goals in the game over the next minute and Amber Wall added a basket. Elon suddenly had a one-point lead. The fifth lead change took Elon into halftime with a 32-30 score.
“I was a little disappointed in the first half with the offensive rebounding, but we made the adjustments and reached our goal – we kept them under 10 offensive rebounds for the game and we kept them 10 points under their scoring average,” Cram said.
Georgia Southern steps out of conference to play four of its next six games. The Lady Eagles take to the road for the next two traveling up I-16 to Mercer on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. and at UNC Asheville on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 05 December 2009 21:08