The 49ers nearly erased a 23-point halftime deficit in Elon Thursday, Nov. 19, but ultimately fell to the Phoenix in the final minutes of the game resulting in Charlotte’s first loss of the season. Kira Gordon and Lefty Webster both tallied 11 points in the third in fourth quarters igniting Charlotte’s comeback.
Charlotte’s three point specialist Ciara Gregory caught fire early as the 49ers scored a quick 11 points. After a short media timeout three minutes into the first quarter, Kenya Olley recorded her first block of the contest igniting the small group of traveling 49ers fans. However, Elon’s Shay Burnett led the Phoenix to an 18-7 run in the final seven minutes of the quarter taking the lead 29-18. 10 trips to the free throw line contributed to Elon’s double-digit lead while Burnett was perfect from the strip converting 6-of-6 free throws.
The Phoenix kept their foot on the pedal in the second quarter while they continued to outscore the 49ers. The Phoenix’s Essence Baucom spearheaded Elon’s offense, creating open looks for her teammates from all over the floor. Charlotte spread the ball around the court effectively creating a run of their own to minimize the gap but ultimately Elon capped off the 2nd quarter with a 23-point lead.
Charlotte took the court after halftime energized, immediately shrinking the 23-point deficit at hand. Behind lively defense and Gordon, Charlotte earned multiple trips to the foul line and knocked down a couple of shots from behind the arc. At the 2:43 minute mark, Webster sunk a three point field goal minimizing the deficit to just 10 points before Alexis Alexander faced up her defender and scored from 10 feet out. Charlotte trailed Elon by eight points.
With only 10 minutes to play, Charlotte controlled the game and had the majority of the momentum. Laia Raventós picked up where the 49ers left off in the third quarter, knocking down a three ball cutting Elon’s lead to five points. The lead continued to shrink as Gregory earned a trip to the foul line and converted both free throws. Both teams traded buckets for the next seven minutes as Charlotte tied the game at the 2:22 second mark.
In the final minute, Gordon rebounded a missed Elon shot but fell to the court as her opponent challenged her for the ball. A traveling violation was awarded to the Phoenix forcing Charlotte to foul, stopping the game clock. Burnett sunk all but one foul shot sealing the 49ers fate.
Charlotte returns to Halton Arena Monday, Nov. 23 to face Miami who is currently receiving votes in the national polls. Monday marks the annual blackout night in Halton Arena.