Flames Await Elon WBB Phoenix in First Road Contest of Season

Posted by Press Release on November 16, 2015 at 6:25 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – After opening the season with a win at home in Alumni Gym, the Elon women’s basketball team (1-0) goes on the road for the first time to take on Liberty (1-0) on Monday, Nov. 16. Tip is set for 7 p.m. in the Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va.

Last Time Out
Strong opening and closing periods for Elon led to a 67-29 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in its season opener on Saturday. The Phoenix outscored the Bears 38-6 in the first and final 10 minutes, including holding LR scoreless in the fourth. The maroon and gold finished 28-of-65 from the field for a 43.1 percent mark and held the Bears to a 15.7 mark overall (8-of-51). The Phoenix held the advantage in the paint, 34-4, and on the boards, 52-31. The defense helped force 28 turnovers, tallied 14 steals, which turned into 23 points off turnovers, while also posting eight blocks. Nikki McDonald led all players with 12 points after going 5-of-11 from the field (2-of-3 from three) and tallied five boards. Shay Burnett posted the first double-double of the season for the Phoenix with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Essence Baucom also scored in double figures with 11 points and had four assists, while Jenifer Rhodes looked strong all-around with six points, seven boards, five steals and three blocks.

Scouting the Flames
Liberty is the reigning Big South regular-season and tournament champions and the league’s preseason favorite. The Flames opened the season on Friday with a 74-68 win at Appalachian State, marking its first ever win over the Mountaineers. LU saw a double-double from Ashley Rininger, the Big South Preseason Player of the Year, after 23 points and 11 boards. Sadalia Ellis and Jaymee Fisher-Davis both also posted in double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively, while Ellis handed out seven assists. The Flames shot 44.4 percent from the field, including 33.3 from three, and went 75 percent from the free-throw line, while claiming the advantage in rebounds, 47-38.

The Series
Liberty owns an 11-4 advantage in the all-time series with Elon. However, the Phoenix claimed a 73-62 win when the Flames visited Alumni Gym last season on Nov. 25. The victory was the first for the maroon and gold in the last four attempts and the first meeting since Feb. 22, 2003. This game marks the first played in Lynchburg since Jan. 28, 2003.

Elon in Season Openers
The Phoenix is 29-17 overall in season openers and 21-4 when opening the season in Alumni Gym. Elon has won its last three straight season openers after a 77-72 win over Anderson on Nov. 14, 2014, and a 73-68 victory against Winston-Salem State in 2013. The maroon and gold has won its last seven season openers that were played on its home court.

Stop, Thief!
The Elon defense tallied an impressive 14 steals in its win over Lenoir-Rhyne on Nov. 14. Jenifer Rhodes claimed five of those steals for a new career-high followed by three from Lauren Brown.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fifth season with the Phoenix and owns a 70-57 career record. Smith has led Elon to three straight conference tournament semifinal appearances, as well as an at-large bid to the 2015 WNIT, the first in program history, after a 19-13 overall record and 11-7 league mark in its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Previous Opponent Connection
Liberty is the second opponent this season for the Phoenix that has previously played Appalachian State. Lenoir-Rhyne played the Mountaineers in an exhibition contest prior to playing Elon and fell just shy of the win by six, 51-45. Liberty defeated ASU in its season opener also by six points, 74-68.

Looking Ahead
Elon returns home to Alumni Gym to host Charlotte in its next game on Thursday, Nov. 19, in a 7 p.m. tip.

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