ELON, North Carolina - Elon closed the game on a 14-2 run to erase a six-point deficit and defeat UNCW, 67-61, in collegiate women's basketball action Sunday at Alumni Gym.
The Phoenix improved to 2-1 on the season with the win while the Seahawks moved to 0-3 overall as they wrapped up their season-opening road swing.
Senior Ali Ford scored a game-high 19 points to lead Elon, including six straight late in the second half to start the decisive run. Senior Kelsey Evans joined Ford in double figures with 13 points and added 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double as the Phoenix posted a commanding 49-34 advantage on the glass. Senior Shon Redmond chipped in nine points and added a program-record 10 steals.
Senior Karneshia Garrett scored 18 points and added 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the season to lead UNCW. Senior Chelsea McGowen scored 10 points and added nine rebounds while freshman Dana Brown joined the duo in double figures with 10 points, all of which came in the second half.
Trailing 59-53 with just four minutes remaining, Ford hit a three-pointer and converted all three free throws on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 59-all with just 2:58 on the clock.
The Phoenix would take the lead moments later, converting a UNCW turnover into a jumper by freshman Jessica Farmer to take a 61-59 lead at the 2:31 mark.
The two sides would go more than nearly 90 seconds between points before a jumper by Redmond att the 1:03 mark stretched the Elon edge to four, 63-59.
The Phoenix keep the Seahawks off the scoreboard on their next three trips down the floor while converting four of six free-throw attempts to expand their cushion to eight, 67-59. A layup by Garrett in the final seconds would determine the final six-point margin.
In the first half, Elon held a slim 15-14 advantage before a free throw by Evans started a 12-2 spurt that would stretch the Phoenix cushion to double figures, 27-16, with 9:48 on the clock.
The Seahawks responded to the Elon push as Lee would tally all eight of her first-half points over a four-minute span to key a 10-3 run that would trim the Phoenix edge to four, 30-26, with just four minutes remaining on the clock. Elon tallied seven of the final 11 points of the frame to take a 37-30 lead into the break.
The two sides would trade baskets through the first eight minutes of the second half before a jumper by McGowen at the 11:50 mark sent the Seahawks on a 17-6 run that would last over six minutes to give UNCW its 59-53 lead and set up Elon's decisive run.
UNCW returns to action Nov. 28 as it entertains North Carolina Central in a 7 p.m. contest at Trask Coliseum. Elon hosts American in a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 24.
Sunday's game marked the sixth meeting between the two state foes. Elon tied the all-time series at 3-all as it snapped a three-game losing streak to UNCW.
Each of the last three meetings between UNCW and Elon been decided by six points or less. The contest featured a total of five ties and six lead changes.
UNCW played its second straight game against an in-state opponent and moved to 0-2 on the season against state competition. The Seahawks are now 15-11 versus Tar Heel State opposition since the start of the 2007-08 season.
Both teams shot below 40 percent from the floor for the contest. UNCW was 21-of-56 (.375) from the field while Elon was 26-of-68 (.382).
Both teams connected on less than 27 percent of its three-point attempts. The Seahawks were 5-of-21 (.238) from three-point range while the Phoenix were 5-of-19 (.263).
The two teams combined for 38 turnovers (UNCW 20, Elon 18).
The Seahawks recorded double figures for the first time this season as it finished with 12 thefts. Senior Tawanna Lee and junior Jessica Freeman paced the team with four steals apiece.
UNCW was out-rebounded for the second time this season. The Seahawks have been out-rebounded by double figures in both contests it has finished with a negative rebounding margin.
Elon posted a 17-9 edge in second-chance points as it finished with 19 offensive rebounds.
UNCW shot above 70 percent from the free-throw line for the first time this season as it was 14-for-19 (.737) from the charity stripe. The Seahawks were a combined 26-of-39 (.667) from the line in the first two games of the season.