Elon Women’s Basketball Opens Regular Season Friday

ELON, N.C. – Elon women’s basketball will officially open the 2012-13 season on Friday, Nov. 9, at South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Tip is set for 7 p.m. in Colonial Life Arena.

Friday, Nov. 9
Site: Columbia, S.C.
Arena: Colonial Life Arena
Series: Elon leads, 2-0
Radio: WSOE 89.3 FM – Christian Binder and Ryan Balick will have the call
Twitter Updates: @Elonscores

Elon Game Notes

Preseason Prognostications
The Elon women’s basketball team was predicated to finish fifth in the 2012-13 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll and Media Poll. Seniors Kelsey Evans and Ali Ford were both selected to the preseason all-conference team for the second straight year. Davidson was selected as the preseason favorite to win the conference by the coaches, with Appalachian State receiving most votes in the media poll.

Scouting the Gamecocks
South Carolina is coming off its fourth NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in school history. The Gamecocks return 52.4 percent of its points and 65.9 percent of its rebounds from the 2011-12 season. Led by fifth-year head coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks were selected to finish seventh in the SEC by the media. In its exhibition game, South Carolina defeated Anderson, 88-31, on Sunday with the help of 14 points from both Aleighsa Welch and Asia Dozier.

The Series
The Phoenix and the Gamecocks have not met on the hardwood since 1975 when the teams met twice in one season. Elon won both meetings by scores of 90-79 and 82-77.

Last Time Out
Elon played in-state competition Belmont Abbey in its lone exhibition game of the season last Sunday with the Phoenix defeating the Crusaders, 83-42. Junior Kelsey Harris scored a game-high 18 points in the win, while senior Kelsey Evans finished with a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. The maroon and gold had four players score in double figures with sophomores Zora Stephenson and Sam Coffer contributing 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her second season with the Phoenix. Smith led Elon to a 16-14 overall record last season, the most wins in program history for a first-year head coach.

Fresh Faces
The Phoenix welcomes four new players to the team this year – Autumn Carter, Jessica Farmer, Lauren Hudson and Nicole Razor. The team also has a new Director of Basketball Operations in Kate Dempsey, a former SoCon player and native of the Burlington/Elon, N.C. area.

Approaching Milestones
Senior Kelsey Evans is closing in on becoming the 19th Elon player to reach the 1,000th career-point milestone. After last season, the Raleigh, N.C., native totaled 945 career points. Current teammate Ali Ford joined the 1,000-point club in 2011 and is 119 points shy from becoming second on Elon’s all-time career points list.

Home-State Connection
Arayael Brandner will be playing approximately 20 miles from home on Friday in Columbia, S.C. The senior is from nearby Blythewood where she played high school ball at Heathwood Hall.

Former Teammates
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith and South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley are former teammates from their professional playing days with the Charlotte Sting. Staley, who played for the Sting for seven years, and Smith played together for six years before Smith went on to play for the Washington Mystics. Both coaches also played collegiate basketball for ACC member institutions.

2012 Viewbook
The 2012-13 Elon women’s basketball viewbook is now available online. This book brings an interactive experience to the fans and incorporates full-color graphics, as well as video content. Check it out on elonphoenix.com.

Looking Ahead
Following the Phoenix’s game at South Carolina, the team will play its home opener on Monday, Nov. 12. Elon will welcome the Rams of VCU to Alumni Gym for a 7 p.m. tip.