November 12, 2012

VCU Drops Season Opener at Elon, 74-58

FINAL: Elon 74, VCU 58 (Alumni Gym – Elon, N.C.)

VCU STARTERS: #3 Green, #11 Hobson, #14 Adebayo, #23 Pellechio, #24 Parks

ELON STARTERS: #1 Stephenson, #2 Evans, #11 Ford, #23 Harris, #24 Coffer

THE BASICS: Elon overcame a 12-point first half deficit and used a 29-5 outburst spanning nearly 14 minutes to hand VCU a 74-58 setback Monday night in its season opener.  Freshman Jessica Pellechio led the Rams with a team-best 18 points in her collegiate debut, while senior Carleeda Green added 13 points and a team-high five assists.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Elon (1-1) led by as many as five points early in the first half, including a 20-18 advantage with 11:30 showing.
  • VCU (0-1) caught fire on the offensive end, scoring 14 straight points during a nearly three-minute stretch to take its largest lead of the game, 32-20, at the 8:24 mark.  The Rams hit 6-of-7 from the field during that stretch, including a pair of 3-pointers from Pellechio and Green, who hit two of her first four attempts from long range. 
  • Trailing by nine with 4:32 left before the break, Elon outscored VCU 11-4 the rest of the half and eventually took a 36-35 lead into the locker room on a jumper from senior Shon Redmond with less than five seconds remaining.
  • Elon picked up where it left off to start the second half, pushing its lead to 10 less than four minutes in.  The Phoenix went up by as many as 12 on two occasions during the next seven minutes. 
  • VCU pulled within 49-42 on a triple from Pellechio with 10:38 remaining, but Elon responded with a 13-4 spurt and pushed its advantage to 16 on a layup by sophomore Kelsey Harris with 3:15 to go.
  • Pellechio nailed her fifth 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 62-51 with 1:50 remaining, however, the Phoenix went 12-of-14 from the free throw line down the stretch to fend off a VCU rally.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Pellechio led VCU with a team-best 18 points in her collegiate debut, knocking down a game-high five 3-pointers.
  • Green added 13 points, a team-best five assists and two steals for the Rams.
  • Juniors Zakia Williams and Shekinah Henry added a combined 12 points and 15 rebounds off the bench.  Williams finished with six points, seven boards, three assists and four steals.
  • After VCU held a 32-20 advantage with 6:29 left in the first half, Elon erupted scoring 29 of the next 34 points and the Rams could not recover.
  • Elon shot nearly 45 percent from the field during its 14-minute run.
  • VCU hit five of its first 10 3-pointers to jump out to its early lead.

WHAT'S AHEAD:
VCU continues its three-game road swing at Manhattan on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., before heading to former Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion on Nov. 17.  Check VCUAthletics.com for complete game coverage.

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