Spartans fall to Elon on Senior Night
GREENSBORO, NC – Julie Taylor had a game-high 17 points and Tiffany Davis was 6-of-6 from the line in the final 19 seconds as Elon topped UNC Greensboro, 54-47, in Southern Conference women's basketball action Friday night at Fleming Gym.
Taylor scored 12 straight points for Elon (4-25, 2-18 SoCon) midway through the second half to help the Phoenix snap a three-game skid.
UNCG got nine points and nine rebounds from Agne Girstautaite. Girstaute became the Spartans' single-season leader in blocked shots in the first half of Friday night's game. The sophomore from Kaunas, Lithuania, recorded her 50th career blocked shot to surpass the mark set by Rebecca Viverette (1997-98). She finished with five blocks on the night to give her 52 on the season. Viverette also holds the career mark at 121. Girstautaite now has 72 for her career.
Amber Wall gave the Phoenix a 48-47 lead with 2:08 to play on a baseline move. After a UNCG miss, Elon's Tiara Gause was sent to the line for the bonus. She missed the front end, but Wall chased down the long rebound. Gause, however, was called for a charge with 1:12 to play.
UNCG's Monique Floyd drove to the basket 10 seconds later and was called for a charge, as well, giving the ball back to Elon. The Phoenix missed on their next possession, giving UNCG the ball with 31.9 seconds to play.
Floyd drove to the basket and missed in traffic. Thinking Floyd had been fouled, a technical was called on the UNCG bench. Davis knocked down both free throws to make it a three-point game.
After falling behind early by missing 10 of their first 12 shots from the floor, the Spartans found a rhythm and scored six straight. That began a 10-3 run that gave UNCG its first lead of the night, 14-13, midway through the first half. Lakiah Hyson had a pair of buckets to spark the run.
The first half became a see-saw affair from there with neither team taking a lead of more than four. The Spartans led by four, 25-21, with 4:25 left in the half on a Girstautaite putback. But that was UNCG's last field goal before the intermission. The Phoenix closed the half by scoring six of the final seven points to take a 27-26 lead into the break.
Three straight three-pointers by Taylor gave Elon the biggest lead for either team to that point, 41-34, with 12 minutes to play. Taylor scored 12 straight points for Elon in a four-minute span to erase a 30-29 UNCG lead.
UNCG came back with eight straight points, however, four by TaShama Banner, to regain the lead, 42-41, with 7:25 to play. In fact, the Spartans held the Phoenix without a field goal for more than six minutes after Taylor's scoring burst. That put the game back to a back-and-forth affair for the stretch run.
Friday night's game was the last home contest for seniors Gini Grimsley, Ashley Mullins, Ashley Ling and Kristen Boone. The four were honored prior to the game and Boone's No. 21 was honored with a banner in the Fleming rafters as part of the Senior Night festivities.
The Spartans will open play at the Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday. UNCG will be the No. 7 seed and face 10th-seeded Wofford at approximately 5:30 p.m. in the second of three first-round games. Elon will be No. 11 seed and face either Georgia Southern or Davidson in the third opening round game at approximately 8 p.m.
ELON 54, UNC GREENSBORO 47
ELON (4-25, 2-18 SoCon)
Julie Taylor 6-11 1-1 17; Tiara Gause 4-15 2-3 10; Tiffany Davis 1-5 7-8 9; Urysla Cotton 4-9 1-2 9; Courtney Medley 1-8 1-2 4; Jess Luedtke 1-1 0-0 2; Amber Wall 1-1 0-2 2; Erica Keto 0-4 1-4 1; Sharwil Bell 0-0 0-0 0; Aiesha Harper 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-55 13-22 54.
UNC GREENSBORO (12-17,9-11 SoCon)
Agne Girstautaite 4-8 1-2 9; Monique Floyd 3-8 2-4 8; TaShama Banner 4-8 0-0 8; Lakiah Hyson 4-8 0-1 8; Gini Grimsley 2-10 2-2 8; Kendra Smith 2-5 0-3 4; Agneta Morkunaite 1-3 0-0 2; Ashley Mullins 0-5 0-0 0; Amanda Leigh 0-8 0-0 0. Totals 20-63 5-12 47.
27 - 54
UNC Greensboro................ 26 21 - 47
3-point goals--Elon 5-10 (Julie Taylor 4-8; Courtney Medley 1-2), UNC Greensboro 2-17 (Gini Grimsley 2-6; TaShama Banner 0-1; Ashley Mullins 0-5; Amanda Leigh 0-5). Fouled out--Elon-None, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Elon 50 (Erica Keto 17), UNC Greensboro 38 (Agne Girstautaite 9). Assists--Elon 9 (Tiara Gause 3; Tiffany Davis 3), UNC Greensboro 11 (Monique Floyd 3). Total fouls--Elon 12, UNC Greensboro 16. Technical fouls--Elon-None, UNC Greensboro-TEAM. A-333
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