ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team returns to action this week for the Marriott Cavalier Classic, hosted by the University of Virginia. The Phoenix opens up the tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 28, with a 4:30 p.m. game versus UMass. A day later, Elon will face either Virginia or Wagner depending on Wednesday’s outcome.
ELON VS. UMASS: Wednesday marks the second meeting between Elon and UMass. The Phoenix and Minutewomen met on Dec. 30, 2004 in the Terrapin Classic in College Park, Md., where UMass won, 57-50. The Phoenix and Minutewomen have one common opponent this season, the Charlotte 49ers.
COMMON THREADS: The Elon women’s basketball team is the third Elon sports team to meet UMass this season. The Phoenix women’s soccer team took on UMass on Sept. 2 in Amherst, Mass., while the Elon men’s basketball team took on the Minutemen in its season opener on Nov. 11 inside the Curry Hicks Cage in Amherst.
ELON VS. THE ATLANTIC 10: Elon has a 4-5 record all-time against teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Elon is 2-4 against Charlotte, 1-0 versus Fordham and Richmond and 0-1 against Xavier.
ELON VS. VIRGINIA: Should the Phoenix play the Cavaliers, it would be the first meeting between the two teams.
ELON VS. THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE: Elon has a 20-24 all-time record against teams from the ACC. The last time Elon topped an ACC opponent was on Feb. 12, 1980 when it topped Wake Forest, 100-87. Elon’s record versus ACC teams is as follows: Wake Forest (14-2), Duke (4-3), North Carolina (2-7), NC State (0-5), Georgia Tech (0-1) and Virginia Tech (0-2).
ELON VS. WAGNER: Should the Phoenix play Wagner, it would mark the first meeting between the two schools.
ELON VS. THE NORTHEAST CONFERENCE: Wagner is only the second team from the NEC that Elon has faced. The Phoenix played Robert Morris in the East Carolina Thanksgiving Tournament earlier this season, falling 69-65 to the Colonials.
ON THE HORIZON: Following the Marriott Cavalier Classic, Elon closes out the 2011 calendar year in Morgantown, W.Va., against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Dec. 31.
COMEBACK KIDS: Elon trailed by as many as 10 points at Wofford on Dec. 19, but the Phoenix used a 12-0 run toward the end of the first half to build momentum in a 74-68 win over the Terriers. The 10-point deficit is the largest Elon has had to overcome in a victory this season.
BEYOND THE ARC: As of Dec. 18, rookie Zora Stephenson ranked third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 52.6 percent. Stephenson has knocked down 20-of-38 shots from beyond the arc this season. The Vienna, Va., native hit eight three-pointers on Nov. 18 against Virginia Intermont, the third most in a single game in program history.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Junior Ali Ford is swiftly moving up Elon’s all-time scoring list. With 27 points in Elon’s last game against Wofford, Ford sits at 10th all-time in program history with 1,231 career points. Ford needs 21 points to pass Jana Siler (1988-92) for ninth all-time. Ford leads the Southern Conference in scoring at 16.8 points per game and is first in three-pointers made with 34 (3.4 per game).
DISTRIBUTORS: Elon is currently second in the Southern Conference in assists, averaging 14.1 per game. Over the last three games, Aiesha Harper has recorded 18 dimes. Harper tied a career-high with seven against Campbell on Dec. 14 and has recorded 188 assists in her career. Harper leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.9).
210 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., tied a career-high with seven three-pointers at Wofford on Dec. 19 and now sits with 210 in her career. Ford has hit seven three-pointers in a game three times in her career, the last being in a blowout win over USC Upstate in last year’s Women’s Basketball Invitational. Ford is second all-time in three-point field goals, trailing only Loretta Lawson (234).
CLOSING IN ON 100: Senior Aiesha Harper enters Wednesday’s game having played in more games (98) than anyone on Elon’s current roster. The next closest player on Elon’s roster in games played is senior Erica Keto (80 games played).