Phoenix Women’s Basketball Hosts Colonels in WBI First Round

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (18-13) will make its second postseason appearance in the Division I era when it hosts Eastern Kentucky (18-11) in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational on Wednesday, March 20, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix is the West region’s fourth seed, while the Colonels from Richmond, Ky., are the fifth seed. All tickets for the game will be $5 general admission.

Wednesday, March 20
Women’s Basketball Invitational – First Round
#4 Elon (18-13) vs. #5 Eastern Kentucky (18-11)
Site: Elon, N.C. (Alumni Gym)
Series: Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting vs. Davidson: December 1, 2001 – EKU won, 75-58
Radio: WSOE 89.3 FM – Ryan Balick and Greg Brzozowski will have the call

Elon in the WBI
This marks Elon’s second appearance in the Women’s Basketball Invitational. The Phoenix made its first postseason appearance since becoming Division I in the 2011 WBI. The maroon and gold played as the third seed and defeated USC Upstate in Alumni Gym before falling to eventual champion UAB in the quarterfinals. Elon’s 103-72 win over USC Upstate saw a career-high 35 points from Ali Ford after she connected on 13 baskets from the field, including seven threes.

Last Time Out
Elon dropped its last game to Davidson in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals, 71-61. Kelsey Evans led the Phoenix with 16 points and four blocks, while Shannen Cochraham was nearly unstoppable in the post, going 7-of-8 for a career-high 14 points. Ali Ford finished with 10 points and Kelsey Harris posted a team-high eight rebounds and five assists.

The Series
The Phoenix and the Colonels have met two times prior to Wednesday’s game with both teams owning a win. The first meeting was March 9, 1974, where Elon claimed a close 64-61 win. The last was match up was on Dec. 1, 2001, when the Colonels took a 75-58 victory. Both previous games were played at neutral sites.

Scouting the Colonels
Eastern Kentucky enters the game with an 18-11 overall record after finishing 11-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference this season. The Colonels lost its last game in the quarterfinals of the OVC Tournament to UT Martin by a final of 78-63. The team has three players currently averaging in double figures with Marie Carpenter leading the way with 14.1 points per game. Jade Barber, who scores 12.6 points/game, also averages a double-double with 10.7 rebounds per game. One other Colonel, Alex Jones, hauls down double figures on the boards with an average of 10.3.

Looking Ahead
If the Phoenix defeats EKU, Elon will play the winner of the #1 Mercer vs. #8 McNeese State in the second round. The WBI’s second round games will take place on March 23-24.