Second half effort not enough as Elon falls to James Madison
Poor shooting haunted the Elon Women’s Basketball Team once again, as the league-leading James Madison Dukes overcame a second half run from the Phoenix to leave Alumni Gym with a 68-51 win on Thursday night.
The Dukes currently sit atop the Colonial Athletic Association at 5-0 in conference play, while the Phoenix drop to 3-2 in CAA games.
Elon’s leading scorer, and only player to reach double digits was Shay Burnett with 10. JMU was lead by Precious Hall and Lauren Okafor, with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Both of the teams started slower than usual, combining for only four points in the game’s first five minutes. With 4:06 left in the first half, Elon picked up the pace and cut JMU’s lead to a mere five points, but they just couldn’t seem to hold on.
The speed of the game increased in the beginning of the second half, where the Phoenix went on a 6-0 run. Elon was able to close the gap to 10 points with 10 minutes left in the game.
Elon coach Charlotte Smith acknowledged the increased energy of the Phoenix in the second half, “We came out second half with a chip on our shoulders,” she said. “We felt like the game was very physical the first half, we felt like we would have to just be mentally tough and go out there and fight for what we wanted.”
However, the effort from the Phoenix proved futile, as JMU quickly regained their substantial lead. In total, the Dukes forced 22 Elon turnovers, from which they scored 22 points.
The Elon Phoenix will next face Towson University at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Alumni Gym. Towson is currently 6th place in the CAA with a 2-2 record.