ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (6-6, 2-2 SoCon) closes the 2011 calendar year on the road on Saturday, Dec. 31, as the Phoenix takes on the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) at 2 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum.
THE SERIES: Elon and West Virginia are meeting for only the second time on Saturday. WVU won the only meeting between the two schools last season with a 90-51 victory on Dec. 2, 2010 in Morgantown. The Mountaineers were ranked No. 10 in the nation at the time.
ELON VS. THE BIG EAST: Elon has a 0-3 record all-time against teams from the Big East. Other than last year’s game against WVU, the last time Elon faced an opponent from the Big East was Nov. 28, 2008 when the Phoenix fell, 84-49, at Pitt. Elon’s only other game versus a Big East opponent was Nov. 28, 2003 when the Phoenix dropped a 66-45 decision to Villanova in the Holiday Inn Mountain View Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.
LOOKING AHEAD: Following Saturday’s game at WVU, Elon wraps up its six-game road swing on Jan. 4 at Davidson. The Phoenix returns to Alumni Gym for the first time since Dec. 14 when it hosts rival Appalachian State on Jan. 7.
ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Senior Aiesha Harper was named to the Marriott Cavalier Classic All-Tournament Team on Thursday after two solid games against UMass and Wagner. Harper averaged nine points and seven assists over the two-game stretch. Against Wagner, the Pottstown, Pa., native finished with 13 points and a career-high eight assists, while turning the ball over just once.
THE CLOSER: Junior Kelsey Evans has been key down the stretch of games for the Phoenix this season. The Raleigh, N.C., native is shooting 100 percent from the field in the final five minutes of games, sinking 11-of-11 field goal attempts. Evans has also made 6-of-6 shots from the free throw line.
FROM LONG DISTANCE: Elon has knocked down 85 three-point field goals this season, 31 more than its opponents. Ali Ford has hit a team- and league-best 39 shots from beyond the arc, while rookie Zora Stephenson has dialed up 23.
ON THE GLASS: Sophomore Kelsey Harris had a career day on the boards against Wagner on Dec. 29, pulling down a team- and career-high 11 rebounds against the Seahawks in a 60-57 win.
HITTING THE ROAD: Elon’s current six-game road swing is the program’s longest since the 2007-08 team also played six-straight away from Alumni Gym. Elon’s longest stretch playing away from home was in 2001-02 when the team played nine-straight road games or neutral-site games. In fact, the entire month of December was spent on the road for Elon during the 2001-02 season.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: With 1,253 career points, junior guard Ali Ford recently passed Jana Siler (1988-92) for ninth all-time on Elon’s scoring chart. Ford needs 13 points to pass Mae Haith for eighth in program history. Last season, Ford became only the third sophomore in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. She is also one of five players to record a 500-point season.
REACHING THE CENTURY MARK: Aiesha Harper played in her 100th career game on Dec. 29 against Wagner in the Marriott Cavalier Classic. Harper has played in more games than anyone on Elon’s roster.