Lady Eagles' Comeback Attempt Falls Short in SoCon Tournament to Elon
Courtney Medley tied her career-high in points in the first half with 18 as the Phoenix shot 52 percent from the field to take the early lead and hold a double digit lead for the final seven minutes of play in the opening stanza. Three players scored Georgia Southern’s lone three buckets by the second media timeout as the Lady Eagles trailed by seven, 14-7, with 11:26 on the clock. Jessica Geiger and Ashley Melson hit back-to-back buckets to cut the lead to three, but the Phoenix answered with consecutive jumpers from Urysla Cotton and Courtney Medley to push their lead back to seven, 18-11, with 7:58 remaining in the opening stanza.
Five steals from the Phoenix and 10 forced turnovers by the Lady Eagles allowed Elon to hold a 13 point lead at the break. Elon opened its lead to double digits when Medley nailed her third trey of the evening with just under seven minutes of action left in the first half. A lay-up from Melson succeeded by Samantha Williams’ first three-pointer of the game made the score 24-16 with 5:42 remaining. Tiffany Davis hit the front half of a pair from the charity stripe to start a 6-0 run from Elon.
Geiger ended the run when she connected on a bucket from behind the three-point arc followed by a jumper from J'Lisia Ogburn cutting the Phoenix’s advantage to nine, 30-21. But Elon quickly reopened its lead to 34-21 by the last official timeout at 2:39 before the Phoenix snagged its largest lead of the half, 36-21 with 39 seconds left. Geiger hit her fourth from the field to end the half with a score of 36-23.
Elon went 5-of-8 from the free throw line (63 percent) to Georgia Southern’s unanswered one attempt. Medley paced the Phoenix in the opening half with 18 points as the Lady Eagles’ top scorer was Geiger with nine.
The Phoenix held strong in the second half, continuing to widen their lead and held a 20 point lead, 45-25 at the first media timeout. But Ogburn and Jamie Navarro erupted for Georgia Southern following the second media timeout to spark a 15-0 run. Trailing by 22, Ogburn hit a jumper coupled with back-to-back treys from Navarro cut the score to 50-36 with 8:50 remaining. Ogburn answered with another jumper to make it a 50-38 ballgame at the third media timeout.
Senior Melson lessened the deficit to 10 with a jumper at the 6:50 marker as the Phoenix were held scoreless for over six minutes of play. A long range three from Williams cut the score to 50-43 before Amber Wall ended the Lady Eagles’ 15-0 run with a jumper. The Lady Eagles trailed by three after senior Ashley Rivens hit a 3-pointer followed by a lay-up from Melson to make it a 52-49 ballgame with 2:02 remaining.
Elon pushed its lead back to four points when Davis hit a pair of free throws. But Melson answered with a three-pointer to put the Lady Eagles within one, 55-54, with 50 seconds on the clock. A shot clock violation by Elon with 27 seconds left gave Georgia Southern a chance to take its first lead of the game since the opening bucket of the game. But Georgia Southern did not get a shot off and possession turned to Elon with one second left. An intentional foul called on Melson sent Medley to the line, shooting two. Medley’s two free throws gave Elon its final score of 57-54.
Medley scored a career-high 25 points for Elon who shot 44 percent from the floor with 14-of-23 (61 percent) from the charity stripe; Georgia Southern went 4-of-9. The Lady Eagles, shooting 37 percent for the game, outrebounded the Phoenix 35-30.
Elon became the lowest team ever to advance in SoCon Tournament action and will face No. 3 seeded Western Carolina on Saturday, March 7.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 05 March 2009 00:29