The Lady Catamounts basketball team defeated Elon, 77-61, on Monday, Feb.16 in the Ramsey Center. The victory improved the Lady Cats to 15-11 and 11-6 in the Southern Conference, while the Phoenix fell to 3-23 and 1-16 in the SoCon.
Western Carolina had a hard time scoring, shooting 44.4 percent from the field, but was paced by Kristen Feemster, who had a career-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. This marked Feemster’s first start of her career and her second double-double performance. The Lady Cats made up for their meager shooting with rebounds, grabbing a season-high of 57 team rebounds. The team pulled down 39 defensive boards to help Western Carolina in winning its season-high fourth consecutive game.
Feemster was the bright spot to open the game, appreciating the first start of her career. She scored the first six Western Carolina points to start the game. After an early 2-0 lead, Elon took the advantage on the scoreboard and led for the first 16 minutes of the first half. The Lady Catamounts took just its second lead of the half off a lay-up by Diamond Hunnicutt.
Elon reclaimed the lead when Tiara Gause hit a jumper with 2:04 left in the half. Tied at 30, after Feemster scored her 10th points thanks to a lay-up with 1:01 left, freshman forward TT Belcher was fouled. Belcher drained both free throws to give the Lady Catamounts a 32-30 lead at halftime. The score was tied for the 11th and 12th time in the game to start the second half before Western Carolina took the lead for good after a pair of free throws by senior center Brooke Johnson. The Lady Catamounts went on a 14-4 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to build a 10-point advantage, 51-41.
Elon would battle back and go on a 10-3 run to cut the Lady Catamount’s lead to three, 54-51, with 8:05 left. The Lady Cats received two key three-point buckets from Jessica Jackson, who also dished out a career-high seven assists, and Heather Swayne to keep the Phoenix from rising.
The Phoenix stayed in the game thanks to the hot shooting of Gause who led all scorers with 20 points. Elon’s Courtney Medley also scored in double figures with 19. Lauren Powell and Heather Swayne each had 11 points. Powell now has 1,301 points in her career and moves into ninth place in career scoring in the Lady Catamount record books. Johnson is also keeping pace in her quest to break the Western Carolina career blocks record of 127. She had three blocks against Elon and now needs 12 to snap the record. She would need to average three blocks in Western Carolina’s last four guaranteed games, three regular season and one the tournament, to take over the top spot.