Elon WBB Phoenix and Tribe Set for Sunday Matchup

Posted by Press Release on February 21, 2015 at 11:06 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Coming off a thrilling last-second win on Thursday, the Elon women’s basketball team (15-10, 8-6) returns home on Sunday, Feb. 22, to host William & Mary (12-13, 6-8) in Alumni Gym for a 2 p.m. tip. 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
After falling in the final minute of its previous game, Elon reversed the outcome this time with a game-winning shot by Sam Coffer with two seconds left for a 74-73 final at Northeastern Thursday. With the Huskies leading 73-72 with under a minute to go, strong defense by the Phoenix put the ball back in the team’s hands with 10.4 seconds remaining. Shay Burnett got the ball to Coffer who was wide open for a long jumper to give Elon the lead, 74-73, with two ticks left. Northeastern was unable to get the ball up in time, allowing the Phoenix the victory. Both Zora Stephenson and Lauren Brown went 5-of-8 on the night to lead the Phoenix with 13 points. Burnett and Essence Baucom followed with 10 points each, while Baucom also tallied seven assists. Coffer led the defense with five rebounds and three blocks.

Scouting the Tribe
After starting the conference season with a 1-6 record, William & Mary has won five of its last seven games, including two in double overtime. The Tribe’s last game came in the form of a 74-59 victory over College of Charleston on Feb. 15. W&M is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 62.7 points per game, and third in field goal percentage with a 40 percent mark. The Tribe excels on defense with 4.8 blocks and 11.5 steals per game and ranks first in the CAA in both categories, while also ranking 15th nationally in steals. Sophomore Marlena Tremba is the team’s leading scorer with 13 points per game and ranks 10th in the conference, while Jazmen Boone also averages in double figures with 11.7 points/game. Rookie Abby Rendle leads the league with 2.3 blocked shots per game and ranks 43rd nationally. Boone and Alexandra Masaquel are second and third, respectively, in the conference in steals with more than two per game.

The Series
The Tribe and the Phoenix have played five times previously with W&M holding a 3-2 advantage. The first four games were played from 1998-2003 before the series resumed on Jan. 9 with the Phoenix taking a 72-59 victory in Williamsburg, Va. The last time the Tribe visited Alumni Gym was on Nov. 23, 2003, when the maroon and gold claimed a 57-49 win.

Record Watch
Seniors Zora Stephenson and Sam Coffer are both moving up the list in Elon’s record book. Stephenson has made 216 three-pointers in her career and is currently third in the record book in that category, just 18 triples from tying second. Her 70 baskets from three this season already ranks seventh on Elon’s single season record list. Coffer currently ranks fourth on the all-time blocked shots record list with 120 career blocks.

Program Milestone
The Phoenix women’s basketball team is nearing a program marker of 600 wins. Elon currently has 598 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, 535-420, in bench points. Sophomores Lauren Brown and Jenifer Rhodes have been a big part of the team’s depth with the two players averaging 8.4 and 8.1 points per game, respectively.

Block Party
Elon currently ranks second in the conference and 46th nationally with 4.8 blocked shots/game, while Malaya Johnson (1.3) ranks fifth and Sam Coffer (1.1) ranks eighth 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
On the defensive side of the ball, Elon is second in the blocked shots (4.8/game), fifth in field goal defense (39.3 percent), fifth in three-point field goal defense (30.5 percent) and fourth in steals (7.7/game).

From the Field
Elon is first in the CAA in field-goal percentage and fifth in field-goal percentage defense. The Phoenix owns a 43.0 shooting percentage 25 games into the season, while holding opponents to 39.3 percent. Malaya Johnson is first in the league with her 55.6 shooting percentage, while Jenifer Rhodes (47.5 percent) and Shay Burnett (46.6 percent) rank seventh and 10th, respectively.

Beyond the Arc
The Phoenix is shooting 35.0 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 30.5 percent from beyond the arc. Two Elon players currently rank in the top 10 in the conference in three-point field goal percentage. Lauren Brown (40.0 percent) ranks second and Zora Stephenson (38.3 percent) ranks sixth. Stephenson also ranks 23rd nationally with 2.79 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 65-54 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 plays its final two road games of the season next weekend when it travels Drexel and Hofstra. The Phoenix begins the trip with a game against the Dragons on Friday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia.

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