Elon Women’s Basketball Hosts Rams in Exhibition Sunday

Posted by Press Release on November 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team is eager and ready to pick up where it left off last season and get the 2015-16 season underway. The Phoenix is back on the court to host its lone exhibition game of the season on Sunday, Nov. 8, against Winston-Salem State in Alumni Gym at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth 12 and under.

Elon finished the 2014-15 season and its CAA debut going 19-13 overall and 11-7 in conference play under head coach Charlotte Smith. The Phoenix finished the regular season tied for third, advanced to the semifinals of the CAA Championship and earned an at-large bid to the WNIT, for their first-ever appearance in the tournament.

The Phoenix returns four of its five starters –Essence Baucom, Shay Burnett, Josepha Mbouma and Jenifer Rhodes – from seven of its last eight games last year, including the WNIT appearance. The 2015-16 squad is also made up of nine other experienced players from a year ago with four seniors, two juniors and three sophomores. Charlotte Smith begins her fifth season at the helm of the Elon program with a 69-56 career record and two post-season appearances in the last three years.

Two other key players for Elon this season will be junior Maddie McCallie and freshman Nikki McDonald. McDonald is the team’s only true newcomer as McCallie plays her first season in the maroon and gold after serving her year-in-residence requirement last year as a transfer.

The Phoenix was selected to finish fourth in the 2015 CAA Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll that was released on Oct. 27. James Madison, the reigning conference tournament champion, was picked to repeat, followed by Drexel and Hofstra. Delaware, William & Mary, UNCW, Towson, College of Charleston and Northeastern were all selected to finish behind Elon.

Burnett was the first Elon women’s basketball player to earn CAA preseason honors as she was named to the Preseason All-CAA Second Team. As a rookie a year ago, Burnett averaged a team-high 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds en route to CAA All-Rookie honors. The Phoenix returns four of its other top seven scores from last season that all averaged over 6.4 points per game.

Elon and Winston-Salem State last met on the same date (Nov. 8) two years ago in the 2013 season opener in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix came away with the 73-68 win to extend the advantage in the overall series to 12-1 and claim its fifth straight victory over the Rams. WSSU’s last win over Elon came on Jan. 21, 1984, with a 74-61 final in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Rams finished last season with an 11-17 overall record and a 6-10 mark in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). WSSU looks to makeup for the loss of four of its top five scorers from a year ago by welcoming two newcomers. Sophomore Tiana Edwards is the team’s returning leading scorer after averaging 6.6 points per game and hit a team-high 46 threes last season.

The Phoenix officially opens the season on Saturday, Nov. 14, against Lenoir-Rhyne in a 2 p.m. tip in Alumni Gym. The conference season begins on Sunday, Jan. 3, at UNCW in Wilmington, N.C.

To purchase tickets to Sunday’s game or any of the exciting games in Alumni Gym this season, call the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750.

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