Lady Camels rally to beat Elon
Freshman guard Zena Lovette scored a season-high 17 points as the Campbell women's basketball team downed Elon, 79-69, on Thursday night at Gore Arena/John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center.
Sophomore Kiera Gaines posted her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Lady Camels are off to the third-best start in the Division I era at 9-2, tying the 1990-90 and 1987-88 squads. Campbell out-scored Elon (4-5), 47-31, in the second half as senior guard Tonisha Baker was the third Lady Camel in double digits with 15 points.
In her first start of the season, senior forward Jazmine Cooper scored eight points, while senior guard Monique Spry scored seven.
Junior forward Heather Beadle played a vital role off the bench, recording a career-high seven points and three rebounds.
Campbell shot the ball well at 52.5 percent from the field and 56.3 percent in the second half. Elon was held to 40.3 percent from the field. Elon hit five three-point field goals in the first half before the Lady Camels put pressure on the Phoenix shooters, forcing an 0-for-9 performance in the second.
A key for Campbell was the battle on the boards as it posted a plus-11 margin with 41 rebounds, including 16 on the offensive end against a taller Elon team in the post.
Kelsey Evans led the Phoenix with 26 points and nine rebounds. After 13 points in the first half, Campbell held Ali Ford in check with two points the rest of the way. Shon Redmond added 12 points for the Phoenix.
Campbell came out firing in the first as Lovette, Baker and Gaines made layups before the Phoenix made their first shot at 17:02, 6-2. Back-to-back layups from Cooper and a made free throw by Gaines provided the Lady Camels with a 15-4 advantage with 11:42 left.
From there, Elon took control by working the ball down low to Evans, who had 11 points in the first, which opened up the three-point line as Ford nailed three of them to register 13 points at the break. The Phoenix used a 26-10 run till the three-minute mark to take a 33-25 lead and finished the half up six, 38-32.
The Lady Camels took the lead right back as they began the second half on a 10-1 run with a fast-break layup by Baker, putting Campbell in the lead for good, 42-40 at 15:39.
With the score tied at 42-all, Beadle took a drive to the basket for the score and made the ensuing free throw to swing the momentum in favor of the Lady Camels.
On two occasions the Phoenix rallied to cut the deficit to one, Campbell though had an answer as Edwards drained a three with 12:14 left and Lovette added another dagger from deep to stop the Elon comeback with 8:15 remaining.
The final Elon push cut the advantage to 60-58 with 5:34 left, but the Lady Camels used their speed and transition game to take a quick 70-58 lead with 2:38 on the scoreboard. Lovette and Baker made back-to-back fast-break layups, taking advantage of the Phoenix full-court press, which sealed the contest for Campbell with 30 seconds left, 79-66.
For their last tune-up before heading into the Big South slate, the Lady Camels travel to Wake Forest on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. It is the first matchup against an ACC foe for Campbell since playing Duke in the 2000 NCAA Tournament.