ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Alumni Gym tomorrow at 2 p.m. when the Phoenix hosts Furman for its annual Play4Kay event.
ABOUT PLAY4KAY: Elon will participate in the 2012 Play 4Kay initiative on Saturday against Furman. Play 4Kay, formerly known as WBCA Pink Zone, is an initiative that allows a nation of coaches to raise awareness and funds for cancer research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The official charity is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The late Kay Yow, former Elon and NC State University head women’s basketball coach, served as the catalyst for Play 4Kay after her third recurrence of breast cancer in 2006. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and passed away on January 24, 2009.
COMMON THREADS: Elon assistant coach Cristy McKinney played for Kay Yow at NC State from 1976-79. McKinney scored 1,359 career points and grabbed 600 rebounds under Yow at NC State. As a player at North Carolina, Elon head coach Charlotte Smith took the hardwood against Yow’s Wolfpack on several occasions. Smith’s uncle, David Thompson, was a standout men’s basketball player at NC State while Yow was the head women’s basketball coach. Thompson and Yow are both members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game marks the 20th all-time meeting between Elon and Furman. The Phoenix leads the series, 11-8, having won five out of the last six meetings. The two teams met earlier this season in Greenville, S.C., on Dec. 17, as the Paladins claimed a 75-60 win. Elon is 5-3 at home against Furman.
LOOKING AHEAD: Following today’s game, Elon shuffles off to Greensboro on Monday night, Feb. 6, for a 7 p.m. tip versus Triad rival UNCG. The Phoenix returns to Alumni Gym on Saturday, Feb. 11, when it hosts Davidson at 2 p.m.
RECORD BREAKER: Ali Ford knocked down three three-pointers against Samford on Jan. 28, making her Elon’s all-time three-point leader. Ford passed Loretta Lawson’s mark of 234 and now sits at 240 in her career. Ford has connected on a league-best 64 shots from beyond the arc this season and ranks eighth nationally at 3.1 threes per game.
HOME SWEET HOME: Elon is 7-2 at home this season and is outscoring opponents by an average of 10.6 points. The team has won five of its last six at home, including three straight. Ali Ford is averaging 15.3 points per game at home, while Kelsey Evans is averaging 11.8 points and 7.9 boards inside Alumni Gym. The Phoenix has only three remaining home games this season following Saturday’s game.