ELON, N.C. – Set to open its 2017 CAA Tournament run, top-seeded Elon University women’s basketball will take on ninth-seeded Hofstra at 12 p.m. inside the JMU Convocation Center in Harrisonburg, Va., the host of the 2017 tournament.
PARTY IN THE ‘BURG!
Before Elon battles Hofstra, join fellow Phoenix alums, parents and fans at O’Neill’s Grill on University Drive in Harrisonburg for a pregame social before heading over to the Convocation Center for the game. The social will include food and drinks and will be held prior to every game as the women advance in the tournament.
For more information about the pregame social, click here.
Fans can watch the Phoenix and Pride on CAA.tv. Matt Janus and Christine Motta will have the call with Elon women’s basketball alum Zora Stephenson ’15 on the sidelines. The game can also be heard on WSOE 89.3 FM and Phoenix All-Access. Mason Stalph and Jake Young will be on the air for each game Elon plays throughout its run at the CAA Tournament title.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
With a victory Thursday, Elon would advance to the CAA semifinals on Friday, March 10, and take on the winner of No. 4 William & Mary and No. 5 Delaware. Opening tip would be at 4:30 p.m. inside the Convocation Center in semifinal No. 1. Elon swept both the Tribe and Blue Hens during the regular season.
The Phoenix twice defeated Hofstra by 11 points on Jan. 29 in New York and Feb. 16 in Alumni Gym. In the road game, Hofstra scored just 11 points in the first half and though it tried to come back in the second half, the hole was too deep. In the final two minutes of the game Feb. 16 in Elon, Hofstra received three technicals in a 10-second span that helped Elon pull away from just a two-point lead late to the 11-point win.
The Phoenix cruised to an 82-48 victory over UNCW on Wednesday, March 1, to clinch the regular season CAA title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Lauren Brown fell two points shy of tying her career high with 25 on the night while Jenifer Rhodes tied her career best with 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting. For Rhodes’ efforts, she was tabbed CAA Player of the Week this week. All five seniors started the game and each of them finished the game on the floor together.
Elon earned two votes in the USA TODAY Coaches poll Tuesday. It also checked in at No. 29 in the NCAA RPI Wednesday. Elon ranked No. 2 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll this week and received one first-place vote. Elon was No. 5 in the final release of the espnW Mid-Major poll on March 1.
The Phoenix had multiple postseason honorees in Tuesday’s CAA awards release. Head coach Charlotte Smith was tabbed Coach of the Year while Lauren Brown earned the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award and was named to the CAA All-Academic Team. For the second season in a row, Shay Burnett was named All-CAA First Team and Jenifer Rhodes made All-CAA Third Team. Ra’Shika White closed the honors with her recognition on the five-member CAA All-Rookie Team.
With three players – Lauren Brown, Shay Burnett and Jenifer Rhodes – reaching the 1,000-career point mark this season, it marks the first time in program history a trio of teammates have reached the milestone in the same season. Before this year, two players reaching 1,000 points in the same season had been done twice by Venessa Corbett and Lou Williamson in 1979-80 and Elizabeth Ward and Laura Case in 1992-93.
With 24 victories this season, it marks just the second time Elon has reached the 20-win mark as a Division I program and is the first time Elon has earned the accomplishment in regular-season play. Last time Elon reached 20 wins in 2010-11, the Phoenix finished 20-13 and recorded its 20th win in the 32nd game of the season in the WBI against USC Upstate.
ON THE ROAD
Elon has been stellar away from Alumni Gym this season. Through the regular season, the Phoenix went 13-4 away from home, including neutral games. Prior to the loss at JMU on Feb. 12, Elon had won each of its previous nine road games. The nine-game road winning streak marked the longest streak for the program as a Division I team. The previous long was five games from Jan. 8 to Jan. 29 in 2010-11, the final season of the Karen Barefoot era.
MAKING IT LOOK EASY
With 16 wins in conference play this season, the mark surpasses the 2012-13 season when Elon won 14 Southern Conference games. That number stood as the most wins in a conference season for the Phoenix until this year’s 16-2 mark.