Elon WBB Closes Out Road Swing at CofC Sunday

Posted by Press Release on February 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (13-8, 6-4) finishes out a three-game road swing with its next game at College of Charleston (4-17, 2-8) on Sunday, Feb. 8. Tip is set for 2 p.m. in TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.

Last Time Out
Off 15 baskets from the three-point line, the Phoenix posted its highest output of the season in an 84-70 win over Towson on Thursday. Elon shot a season-high 58 percent from the field and another season-high 63 percent from beyond the arc, while winning the advantage on the glass, 36-28. Jenifer Rhodes led the Phoenix with a season-high 19 points, just one shy of her career high, after going 7-of-12 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe. Zora Stephenson hit six of Elon’s triples on the night (6-of-8) for 18 points along with another 18 points by Sam Coffer, which marked a season high for the senior. Lauren Brown made it four players in double figures for the Phoenix as she finished with 13 points.

Scouting the Cougars
CofC is looking to snap a four-game losing skid when it hosts the Phoenix on Sunday and should be well rested with its last game coming a week prior on Feb. 1. The Cougars are 4-17 on the season under first-year head coach Candice Jackson. CofC’s leading scorer and rebounder is Breanna Bolden who is averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 boards per game. She also ranks third in the conference with an 81 percent free throw percentage and leads the CAA with 3.3 steals per game. Erin Hall also scores in double figures with 10.1 points per game. As a team, the Cougars rank third in the league in three-point field goal percentage defense, holding its opponents to a 29 percent mark from beyond the arc.

The Series
While this is Elon’s first season in the CAA, the Cougars are familiar opponents for the Phoenix. The two programs played twice a season while both were members of the Southern Conference from 2004-13 and resumes that home and away series this season. CofC holds the series record, 14-10, but Elon has won six out of the last seven meetings, including a 77-68 victory in the last game in Alumni Gym on Jan. 11.

Academic All-District
On Feb. 5, Sam Coffer was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 First Team for the second straight season. The senior currently owns a 3.89 GPA in Biochemistry, while also having started every game for the Phoenix this season. Coffer leads the team on the boards and is currently fourth on Elon’s all-time blocked shots record list.

Record Watch
Seniors Zora Stephenson and Sam Coffer are both moving up the list in Elon’s record book. Stephenson has made 209 three-pointers in her career and is currently third in the record book in that category, just 25 triples from tying second. Her 63 baskets from three this season already ranks 10th on Elon’s single season record list. Coffer currently ranks fourth on the all-time blocked shots record list with 114 career blocks.

It’s Raining Threes
The Phoenix hit a remarkable 15 baskets from long distance in its win over Towson on Feb. 5. Elon went 15-of-24 from beyond the arc to shoot a blistering 63 percent with the help of six threes from Zora Stephenson and four by Sam Coffer.

Mark Your Calendars
Phoenix fans, mark you calendar for Elon women’s basketball’s annual Play 4Kay game on Sunday, Feb. 15, vs. the Hofstra Pride.

Program Milestone
The Phoenix women’s basketball team is nearing a program marker of 600 wins. Elon currently has 596 overall wins since it began competition in 1971.

Spark of the Bench
The extra spark that Elon has had off the bench has been a tremendous asset so far this season. The Phoenix is out scoring its opponents, 432-361, in bench points. Sophomores Lauren Brown and Jenifer Rhodes have been a big part of the team’s depth with the two players averaging 7.8 and 7.7 points per game, respectively.

Block Party
Elon currently ranks first in the conference and 42nd nationally with 4.8 blocked shots/game, while Malaya Johnson (1.3) ranks third in the league in blocks. 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.

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 first in blocked shots (4.8/game), fourth in field goal defense (38.3 percent), third in three-point field goal defense (29.2 percent) and fourth in steals (7.9/game).

From the Field
Elon is first in the CAA in field-goal percentage and fourth in field-goal percentage defense. The Phoenix owns a 41.8 shooting percentage 21 games into the season, while holding opponents to 38.3 percent. Malaya Johnson is second in the league with her 53.5 shooting percentage, while Shay Burnett (48.9 percent) and Jenifer Rhodes (46.7 percent) rank fourth and 11th, respectively.

Beyond the Arc
The Phoenix is shooting 35 percent from the three-point line and is third in the league in the long-distance shooting category. The team is second in three-point defense with opponents only shooting 29.2 percent from beyond the arc. Two Elon players currently rank in the top five in the conference in three-point field goal percentage. Zora Stephenson (39.4 percent) ranks third and Lauren Brown (38.8 percent) ranks fourth.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fourth season with the Phoenix and owns a 63-52 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
The Phoenix returns home to Alumni Gym for the first time in almost three weeks in its next game to host UNCW on Thursday, Feb. 12, in a 7 p.m. tip.


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