Elon Women’s Basketball Hosts First SEC Opponent Sunday

Posted by Press Release on December 12, 2014 at 11:14 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (4-2) returns home to Alumni Gym after two games on the road to host Southeastern Conference guest Vanderbilt (6-2) on Sunday, Dec. 14, for a 2 p.m. tip. Tickets can be purchased through the Elon Ticket Office. Admission is $10 for courtside seats, $5 for reserved seats and $3 for youth (12 and under).

Last Time Out
The Phoenix suffered only its second loss of the season in its last game at NC State, 81-54, on Sunday. The Wolfpack was able to pull away in the second part of the opening half en route to its victory. Despite the setback, the Phoenix saw three players in double figures with Zora Stephenson leading the way with 14 points after the help of four baskets from long distance. Jenifer Rhodes (5-of-7 FG) and Shay Burnett both finished with 10 points, while Sam Coffer hauled down 10 rebounds.

Scouting the Commodores
Vanderbilt is currently 6-2 on the season after a win over Mississippi Valley State in its last game on Dec. 3, snapping a two-game losing streak after setbacks against UConn and Arizona State. The Commodores own a 47.1 field goal percentage that ranks 20th nationally and third in the SEC. Eight of the nine players for Vandy that see significant playing time all have field goal percentages over 40 percent. The Commodores are led by Rebekah Dahlman, who averages 10 points per game, while both Audrey-Ann Caron-Gourdreau and Morgan Batey both score over nine points/game. While no player averages more than six boards a game, Vanderbilt owns a plus 9.1 rebounding margin over its opponents.

The Series
The Phoenix and the Commodores met for the first and only other time last year in Vanderbilt’s Thanksgiving Tournament. The Dores claimed an 88-66 win after hitting 11 threes and shooting 49 percent from the field on its home court. Despite the loss, Elon put four players in double figures, including Shannen Cochraham who posted 16 points off six field goals, both career highs.

Elon vs. the SEC
Sunday’s game marks the first time the women’s basketball program has hosted an SEC team in Alumni Gym. Elon hosted current SEC member South Carolina twice in 1975 prior to the Gamecocks joining the conference in 1991. The Phoenix has also played USC, Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt away from its home court in the past. Overall, Elon has a 3-3 record against current SEC teams.

You’ve Been Blocked
Elon posted a season-high 11 blocks in its game at NC State on Dec. 7. That mark tied a team-high mark under head coach Charlotte Smith. The only other time the Phoenix has recorded 11 blocks in a game in the last four years was at Georgia Southern on Jan. 13, 2014. Elon currently ranks first in the conference and 20th nationally with 5.8 blocked shots/game. Sam Coffer leads the league in blocks with 1.83 per game, while Jenifer Rhodes (1.4) and Malaya Johnson (1.17) rank third and eighth, respectively.

On the Defensive
The Phoenix defense has played strong so far this season and ranks in the top of several CAA defensive categories. Elon is third in field goal defense (37.3 percent), third in three-point field goal defense (26.4 percent), second in defensive rebounds (27.8/game) and first in blocked shots (5.8/game).

The Century Mark
Sam Coffer is nearing the century mark in career games played. The senior has played in 97 games so far in a Phoenix uniform and has earned the start in 91 of those contests.

Beyond the Arc
The Phoenix is shooting 35 percent from the three-point line and is fifth in the league in the long-distance shooting category. The team is third in three-point defense with opponents only shooting 26.4 percent from beyond the arc. Three Elon players currently rank in the top 15 in the conference in three-point field goal percentage. Lauren Brown ranks second (50 percent), Zora Stephenson is fourth (40 percent) and Sam Coffer sits in 15th (32.1 percent).

From the Field
Elon is fourth in the CAA in field-goal percentage and third in field-goal percentage defense. The Phoenix owns a 41 shooting percentage six games into the season, while holding opponents to a 37 percent clip. Jenifer Rhodes ranks sixth with her 50.0 shooting percentage, while Shay Burnett is currently eighth with a 48.6 percent mark.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fourth season with the Phoenix and owns a 54-46 career record. Smith led Elon to its second straight Southern Conference Tournament semifinal appearance and a 10-8 overall conference record last season.

Looking Ahead
After Sunday’s game, the Phoenix goes on the road for its next two games. Elon plays at Campbell on Wednesday, Dec. 17, in a 3 p.m. tip before a neutral site game against North Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Sunday, Dec. 21.

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