Elon WBB Phoenix Welcomes Pride for Play 4Kay Game

Posted by Press Release on February 14, 2015 at 10:02 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (14-9, 7-5) looks to get back in the win column when it hosts Hofstra (15-9, 8-5) in its annual Play 4Kay game on Sunday, Feb. 15, in a 1 p.m. tip in Alumni Gym. 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). All fans are encouraged to wear pink and will receive free pink pom-poms at the game, while students will receive a free t-shirt. Fans can visit Elon’s Play 4Kay page here and donate to Play 4Kay on behalf of the maroon and gold.

Last Time Out
The Phoenix almost completed an impressive comeback in its last game but fell short, 86-82, against UNCW on Thursday. Elon trailed by 11 with 38 seconds to play and was able to cut the deficit to as little as three, 85-82, with seven ticks left before a Seahawk free throw sealed the win for UNCW with the four-point advantage. Despite the loss, Elon shot 55 percent from the field but was held to 25 percent from long distance. Malaya Johnson went 8-of-10 from on the night for a team-high 19 points and posted three blocks. Essence Baucom hit seven field goals and tallied 17 points, both career highs, while Sam Coffer finished with 16 points and five assists. Lauren Brown also scored in double figures with 13 points as Shay Burnett handed out eight assists for the second straight game.

Scouting the Pride
Hofstra just picked up its second straight win with a 69-57 victory at College of Charleston on Friday afternoon. The Pride owns a +4.5 scoring margin advantage and hold opponents to 58.4 points per game. Hofstra has a strong presence on the boards with a 41.0 rebounds/game and a 5.0 advantage over opponents. Kelly Loftus is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 12.9 points per game, while Ashunae Durant, who has earned CAA Rookie of the Week four times this season, posts 11.4 points/game. Elo Edeferioka come close to averaging a double-double with 9.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and ranks third in the league on the boards.

The Series
Sunday marks the first meeting on the hardwood between the Phoenix and the Pride. While the first game takes place in Alumni Gym, Elon will travel to Hempstead, N.Y., for the next meeting in just two weeks on Sunday, March 1.

Play 4Kay
Play 4Kay, formerly known as WBCA Pink Zone, is an initiative that allows a nation of coaches to raise awareness and funds for cancer research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The official charity is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The late Kay Yow, former Elon and NC State University head women’s basketball coach, served as the catalyst for Play 4Kay after her third recurrence of breast cancer in 2006. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away in January 24, 2009. The cause is especially close to the Phoenix as Yow was the first head coach of the women’s basketball program, as well as the volleyball program, and served in that role for four years.

Common Threads
Elon assistant coach Cristy McKinney played for Kay Yow at NC State from 1976-79. McKinney scored 1,359 career points and grabbed 600 rebounds for Yow and the Wolfpack. As a player at North Carolina, Elon head coach Charlotte Smith took the hardwood against Yow on several occasions.

Record Watch
Seniors Zora Stephenson and Sam Coffer are both moving up the list in Elon’s record book. Stephenson has made 211 three-pointers in her career and is currently third in the record book in that category, just 23 triples from tying second. Her 65 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 116 career blocks.

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, 474-379, in bench points. Sophomores Lauren Brown and Jenifer Rhodes have been a big part of the team’s depth with the two players averaging 8.3 and 8.4 points per game, respectively.

Block Party
Elon currently ranks second in the conference and 58th nationally with 4.6 blocked shots/game, while Malaya Johnson (1.3) ranks third and Sam Coffer (1.0) ranks ninth 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 (4.6/game), fourth in field goal defense (39.1 percent), fifth in three-point field goal defense (30.3 percent) and fourth in steals (7.8/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 42.4 shooting percentage 23 games into the season, while holding opponents to 39.1 percent. Malaya Johnson is second in the league with her 54.5 shooting percentage, while Jenifer Rhodes (47.1 percent) rank ninth.

Beyond the Arc
The Phoenix is shooting 34.9 percent from the three-point line and is third in the league in the long-distance shooting category. The team is fifth in three-point defense with opponents only shooting 30.3 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 (39.2 percent) ranks third and Zora Stephenson (38 percent) 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 64-53 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
Elon travels to Boston for its next game to take on the Huskies of Northeastern on Thursday, Feb. 19, in a 7 p.m. tip in the Cabot Center.

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