Dec. 3, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina women's basketball (3-4, 1-1 Southern Conference) fell to Elon (3-3, 1-1 SoCon) 64-48 Monday, in a noon tilt, as part of the Catamounts annual Education Day event. Almost 800 area school children were in attendance at the event.
The Catamounts kept pace with the Phoenix in the second half, with each team scoring 28 points, but it was the 16-point deficit, 36-20, in the first half that was hard to overcome for Western Carolina. Shooting was also a key also a factor as Western Carolina shot a frosty 24.6 percent from the field in contrast to Elon's fiery 50 percent.
Western Carolina was basket for basket with Elon early as both teams traded field goals for the first three minutes of the game. A jumper by the Phoenix's Kelsey Harris, with 15:29 left in the first half, secured the Phoenix's first lead of the contest, 8-6. It was a lead Elon would never relinquish after that shot.
Elon outscored Western Carolina 30-14 in the final 15 minutes of the first half to all but lock up the game. The Phoenix built its largest lead of the game, 58-37, with 7:57 left.
Western Carolina did show it was down but not out as it continued to scrap and claw in the game. Back-to-back three pointers by Hana Haden and Makensey Campbell gave a spark to the Catamounts, cutting the Phoenix's lead to 15, 58-43, with seven minutes left.
The Catamounts had a chance to slice into the Phoenix lead even further, but back-to-back missed three pointers by Diamond Hunnicutt and Campbell squelched Western Carolina's scoring chances. In a three minute span where Elon was held to just two points, Western Carolina scored just seven points in that stretch.
Junior Rena Wakama scored in double figures for the third time this season with a game-high, and season best, 16 points. She was the only Catamount to score in double figures.
Elon ripped down 43 rebounds, 31 on the defensive end. Western Carolina was even on both offensive and defensive rebounds, 18 apiece, for 36 in the game.
Western Carolina plays the final game, of its five-game home-stand, on Saturday in a 2 p.m. match-up with Tennessee Tech. The contest is game one of a doubleheader with men's basketball, who will play Southern Conference rival Appalachian State at 4:30 p.m.