ELON, N.C. – UNCG senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) became the 23rd player in program history to score 1,000 career points Saturday as the Spartans dropped an 80-57 Southern Conference game at Alumni Gym.
Stevenson finished the game with 16 points and 14 rebounds – her seventh double-double of the campaign. She was the lone UNCG player to reach double figures in scoring and rebounding though freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) ended the contest with nine points and tied her career high with seven assists. Zora Stephenson paced four Phoenix players in double figures offensively with a game-high 18 points.
Elon (9-12, 5-5 SoCon) shot 50 percent in both halves to end up with 53.8 efficiency from the field. The Phoenix hit 35 of 65 attempts from the field, a total which included eight three-point field goal conversions. The Blue and Gold shot 34.8 percent and drained 23 of 66 shots. UNCG (5-16, 1-9 SoCon) could also manage just a 33.3 percent performance at the free throw line, missing 16 of 24 attempts. The Spartans were plagued by 24 turnovers leading to 29 Elon points. The Blue and Gold won the rebounding battle by a 47-38 margin and picked up 28 offensive rebounds.
The teams traded layups to start the game before the Phoenix netted six of the next eight points to build an 8-4 lead at 17:17. Williams hit a triple to cut the advantage to one, but Elon took advantage of a lack of transition defense by UNCG to score some easy fastbreak layups and forge ahead 16-7 with 14:53 left in the half.
A pair of free throws by Stevenson helped the Spartans reduce their deficit to five at 16-11 with 13:38 on the clock, but a 9-0 run capped by a Sam Coffer triple left the Phoenix with a 25-11 cushion at 9:53. Elon would not let the lead slip under 10 the rest of the stanza as Elon took a 40-24 edge into the break.
Stevenson had a monster half for UNCG, scoring 12 points and pulling down 10 rebounds – nine on the offensive end. Jessica Farmer paced the Phoenix with 10 points in the period. Elon converted 19 of its 33 attempts from the field to shoot 57.6 percent while limiting the Spartans to just 27.8 percent (10-of-36). The Blue and Gold out-rebounded its hosts 26-18 and tallied 18 offensive boards.
UNCG attempted to keep pace with the Phoenix as the second half commenced, but Zora Stephenson caught fire from beyond the arc and hit three-consecutive triples to stretch the Elon advantage to 51-33 with 14:34 to play. A layup by Jenifer Rhodes extended the cushion to 55-35 at the 13:04 mark and the Phoenix would lead by as much as 32 points before settling for the 23-point win.
The Blue and Gold returns to the court Saturday (Feb. 8) when the Spartans host Davidson. Tipoff at Fleming Gymnasium is slated for 2 p.m. UNCG will celebrate National Women and Girls in Sports Day as well as Play4Kay during the contest.
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