Jan. 19, 2014
ELON, N.C. - Western Carolina women's basketball (9-9, 3-4 Southern Conference) couldn't overcome the late scoring push by Elon (8-10, 4-3 SoCon), falling to the Phoenix 67-52 Sunday in Alumni Gym.
The Catamounts scored just three points in the final eight minutes. Elon used Western Carolina's scoring draught to outscore WCU 16-3 in the final eight minutes of the contest.
Trailing by three, 31-28 at the half, Western Carolina scored the first five points of the second half to take its first lead of the game, 33-31. The five point swing was spurred by a jumper by Makensey Campbell and a three-pointer by Rena Wakama.
The lead changed four times in the first 10 minutes of the game. A jumper by sophomore forward Erika Joseph knotted the game for the eighth time, and fourth in the second half, at 47.
Elon would take the lead for good when Lenaira Ruffin hit a jumper with 8:47 to play. It would spur four straight points by the Phoenix. A jumper by Wakama would trim the Phoenix lead back down to two, but that was the final field goal by WCU would hit in the final eight minutes of the game.
Western Carolina was slow to score in to open the game. The Catamounts quickly found themselves down 19-9, with 12:46 left in the first half, but fought back. In the ensuing four minutes, Western Carolina outscored Elon 16-6 to tie the game at 25.
Lauren Brown gave Elon the lead back, 26-25, hitting 1-of-2 free throws. Campbell returned the favor, hitting 1-of2 free throws as well to tie the game for the second time, 26-26. Elon outscored Western Carolina 5-2 in the final 1:39 of the first half to enjoy a three point, 31-28, lead.
Western Carolina had two players score in double figures. Senior guard Rena Wakama led all scorers with 16 points. This is the fifth straight game Wakama has scored in double figures. Junior guard Justin Taylor added 11. Elon had three players post double figures with Kelsey Harris scoring 15, Sam Coffer with 13 and Ruffin adding 11.
Elon out-rebounded Western Carolina 50-40 and the Phoenix ripped down 31 offensive boards. Elon also got 21 points off the Catamounts' 16 turnovers and scored 30 of its 67 points inside the paint.
Western Carolina returns home Saturday for the first of its four-game home stand hosting Georgia Southern. Tip time is set for 2 p.m.
Senior Shauna Terry had two blocks against Elon and moved into second place in the Catamount record books, with 129, for blocks in a career ... She needs two blocks to break the record of 130.
With 16 points against Elon, Wakama now has 762 career points as she chases 1,000 points ... With 12 guaranteed games remaining, 11 regular season and at least on game in the Southern Conference Tournament, Wakama would need to average at least 22 points per game to reach 1,000 points.
The 33.9 percent shooting, in the game against Elon, is the first time in three games Western Carolina has not shot above 40 percent in a game.