Elon Women’s Basketball: Evans, Ford Named to SoCon Preseason Team; Elon Selected Fifth

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference has released its 2012-13 Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches and Media Poll, today, Oct. 25, as well as its Preseason All-Conference Team. The Elon women’s basketball team has been selected to finish the season fifth out of the 11 conference teams in both polls, while seniors Kelsey Evans and Ali Ford both garnered all-league preseason honors.

Evans averaged 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last season, which ranked ninth and fifth in the conference, respectively. The forward scored in double figures 17 times last year and tallied four double-doubles. The Wakefield, N.C., native enters her final season with 945 career points, 731 career rebounds and 161 career blocks. Evans earned All-SoCon honors from the media last year and received all-state second team accolades.

An all-conference selection by the coaches (first team) and the media last year, Ford averaged 14.5 points per game, which was good for second in the SoCon. The guard hit 87 three-pointers (first in SoCon) as a junior to average 3.1 per game, which ranked 11th nationally. Ford scored in double figures 22 times in 2011-12 and hit a career-high seven three-pointers. Last season, the Morganton, N.C., native became the Elon and SoCon’s all-time three-point leader and enters her senior year with 1,498 career points (third in program history) and 263 career three-pointers.

In the coaches poll, Elon tied for fifth with Furman with 61 points each. Davidson was selected first with 94 points and five first-place votes. The Mountaineers of Appalachian State were selected second with 91 points and four first-place votes. Chattanooga received two first-place votes and 86 points and was picked third. The two-time reigning tournament champions from Samford were selected fourth in the poll with 72 points. Davidson’s Sophia Aleksandravicius was named the conference’s preseason player of the year.

The media selected the Phoenix fifth outright in its poll with 146 points. ASU was picked first by the media with 226 points and 12 first place votes, while Davidson earned 216 points and eight first place votes. The media poll reflected the coaches poll with Chattanooga (210 points, two first place votes) and Samford (178 points) being selected third and fourth, respectively.

Elon opens the 2012-13 season at SEC opponent South Carolina on Friday, Nov. 9, following an exhibition versus Belmont Abbey at home in Alumni Gym on Sunday, Nov. 4. The Phoenix hosts VCU in its regular-season home opener on Monday, Nov. 12.

The 2013 Southern Conference Tournament will be held March 8-11 in Asheville, N.C.

2012-13 SoCon Women’s Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll
Team (First place votes) – Total Points
1. Davidson (5) – 94
2. Appalachian State (4) – 91
3. Chattanooga (2) – 86
4. Samford – 72
T-5. Elon -61
T-5. Furman – 61
7. Western Carolina – 43
8. Wofford – 33
9. Georgia Southern – 26
10. College of Charleston – 21
11. UNCG – 17

2012-13 SoCon Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Anna Freeman, Appalachian State
Courtney Freeman, Appalachian State
Maryah Sydnor, Appalachian State
Sophia Aleksandravicius, Davidson
Laura Murray, Davidson
Kelsey Evans, Elon
Ali Ford, Elon
Brittany Hodges, Furman
Kayla Christopher, Chattanooga
Taylor Hall, Chattanooga

2012-13 SoCon Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Sophia Aleksandravicius, Davidson

2012-13 SoCon Women’s Basketball Media Preseason Poll
Team (first place votes) – Points
1. Appalachian State (12) – 226
2. Davidson (8) – 216
3. Chattanooga (2) – 210
4. Samford – 178
5. Elon – 146
6. Furman – 128
7. Western Carolina – 108
8. College Charleston – 78
9. Georgia Southern – 62
10. Wofford – 58
11. UNCG – 42