ELON, N.C. – Coming off two-straight wins at home, the Elon women’s basketball team begins a six-game stretch away from Alumni Gym this Saturday, Dec. 17, with a Southern Conference matchup against Furman. Tip between the Phoenix and Paladins is set for 2 p.m. inside Timmons Arena.
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game marks the 19th all-time meeting between Elon and Furman. The Phoenix leads the series, 11-7, having won the last five meetings, including all three games last season. Elon recorded a 20-point win at home over the Paladins on Jan. 14 last season before claiming a one-point victory, 58-57, over Furman on Valentine’s Day in Timmons Arena. The two squads met in the opening round of the Southern Conference Tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn., last year, as the Phoenix came away with a 69-62 victory. Ali Ford recorded her 1,000th career point in the win. Elon and Furman meet again this season on Feb. 4 when the Paladins come to Alumni Gym.
LOOKING AHEAD: Following Saturday’s game at Furman, Elon remains in the Palmetto State for a 2 p.m. contest on Monday afternoon versus Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Furman enters Saturday’s game with a 5-3 record this season. The Paladins are coming off a 72-33 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Dec. 11 in Columbia, S.C. The Paladins opened up Southern Conference action with a pair of victories over College of Charleston and Georgia Southern. The team ranks in the top-40 in the nation in free-throw percentage and blocked shots. Kaitlin Murphy is shooting 92.6 percent from the charity stripe this season, good for 12th in the country. Furman is led by head coach Jackie Carson, now in her second season.
203 AND COUNTING: Ali Ford became only the second player in program history to sink 200 career three-pointers, as the junior from Morganton, N.C., make six three-balls and now sits with 203 in her career. Ford is second all-time in three-point field goals, trailing only Loretta Lawson (234).
BEYOND THE ARC: Rookie Zora Stephenson went into this week ranked No. 1 in the nation in three-point shooting percentage. Stephenson has connected on 18-of-35 shots from beyond the arc so far this season, good for a 51.4 percent clip.
FIVE POINTS AWAY: Kelsey Evans needs just five points to reach 700 for her career. The junior from Raleigh, N.C., recorded 629 points in her first two seasons at Elon and has registered 66 total points this season.
CAREER HIGH MARK: Senior point guard Aiesha Harper has proved to be quite the distributor during her tenure. The Pottstown, Pa., native tied a career-high mark with seven assists in Elon’s win over Campbell on Dec. 14. Harper also recorded seven dimes against Southern Virginia on Jan. 28, 2010 and versus Weber State on Nov. 29, 2008. In her career, Harper has totaled 177 assists, which trails only Ali Ford’s 205 for the most on the team.
EFFICIENT SHOOTING: The Phoenix shot a season-best 54 percent from the field on 31-of-57 field goal attempts in its 89-88 win over Campbell on Dec. 14. The maroon and gold also knocked down a season-best 52 percent (11-of-21) of its three-point attempts in the win.
HOME SWEET HOME: With its win over Campbell on Dec. 14, Elon improved to 4-1 at home this season. Over the last two seasons, the Phoenix has recorded 15 victories inside Alumni Gym. The team is averaging 73.5 points per game while holding opponents to 60.2 points per contest. The Phoenix’s next home game is Jan. 7 against instate rival Appalachian State.