Elon WBB Returns Home to Alumni Gym Against UNCW Thursday

Posted by Press Release on February 11, 2015 at 11:11 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – After an almost three-week absence from Alumni Gym, the Elon women’s basketball team (14-8, 7-4) returns home with a two-game winning streak to host UNCW (8-13, 4-6) on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Elon Ticket Office. Admission is $15 for courtside seats, $8 for reserved seats and $5 for youth (12 and under).

Last Time Out
The Phoenix claimed a hard fought 75-71 win at College of Charleston on Sunday to record its second straight road win and wrap up a three-game road swing. With CofC leading by one, Sam Coffer grabbed an offensive board and made a layup for the go-ahead score to put the Phoenix ahead with 36 ticks remaining. Elon made free throws in the remaining seconds to seal the win. In front of a hometown crowd, Jenifer Rhodes led the Phoenix with a new career-high 21 points and hauled down eight boards, while Coffer finished with a season-high 19 points off a career-high five threes and posted 11 rebounds for the double-double. Lauren Brown also scored in double figures with 14 points, while Shay Burnett handed out a career-high eight assists.

Scouting the Seahawks
UNCW looks to break a three-game losing skid against the Phoenix like it did when it claimed a win in Wilmington over Elon on Jan. 22. The Seahawks fell 69-60 in its last game at Delaware on Sunday and last won on Jan. 25 against Towson. Despite the setbacks, UNCW has the third-best scoring offense in the conference, averaging 63.1 points per game, and shoots 39 percent from the field. Senior Kelva Atkins leads the team and ranks third in the CAA in scoring with 17.3 points per game, while sophomore Naqaiyyah Teague hauls down 7.8 rebounds per game and is fourth in the league. Brie Mobley also averages in double figures for the Seahawks with 11.3 points/game.

The Series
Thursday marks the ninth all-time meeting between UNCW and Elon. The teams have played a non-conference game the last two seasons but this marks the first year of CAA competition between the two programs. The Phoenix won the previous two meetings, including a 67-61 win in Wilmington on Nov. 13, 2013, before the Seahawks claimed a 76-68 victory on Jan. 22. The all-time series is now tied with four wins by each program.

Player of the Week Honors
Just a few days after earning Academic All-District First Team honors, Sam Coffer was named the CAA Player of the Week on Feb. 9 after helping Elon to road wins at Towson and CofC with 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. The senior went 13-of-19 from the field to shoot 68.4 percent, including 9-of-14 from beyond the arc for a 64.3 three-point percentage. In the team’s 84-70 win at Towson, Coffer posted a season-high 18 points after going 6-of-9 from the field, including four baskets from three, to go along with five boards and a season-high four assists. She bested the season high three days later with 19 points in the victory at College of Charleston after a 7-of-10 day from the field with a career-best five triples. Coffer also grabbed 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

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 210 three-pointers in her career and is currently third in the record book in that category, just 24 triples from tying second. Her 64 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.

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 597 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, 444-368, in bench points. Sophomores Lauren Brown and Jenifer Rhodes have been a big part of the team’s depth with the two players averaging 8.1 and 8.4 points per game, respectively.

Block Party
Elon currently ranks second in the conference and 58th nationally with 4.5 blocked shots/game, while Malaya Johnson (1.3) ranks fifth 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 second in blocked shots (4.5/game), fourth in field goal defense (38.7 percent), third in three-point field goal defense (30 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 22 games into the season, while holding opponents to 38.7 percent. Malaya Johnson is second in the league with her 52.6 shooting percentage, while Shay Burnett (48.2 percent) and Jenifer Rhodes (47.1 percent) rank seventh and 10th, respectively.

Beyond the Arc
The Phoenix is shooting 35.1 percent from the three-point line and is third in the league in the long-distance shooting category. The team is third in three-point defense with opponents only shooting 30 percent from beyond the arc. Two Elon players currently rank in the top five in the conference in three-point field goal percentage. Lauren Brown (38.9 percent) ranks third and Zora Stephenson (38.1) ranks fifth. Stephenson also ranks 12th nationally with 2.91 three-point field goals per game.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fourth season with the Phoenix and owns a 64-52 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 remains home for its next game to host Hofstra in its annual Play 4Kay game on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear pink.


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