ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (2-2) will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the Music City as the Phoenix take part in Vanderbilt’s Thanksgiving Tournament. The Phoenix will play the Commodores (4-2) on Friday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. (eastern) and then face either Wisconsin (3-1) or Mercer (3-2) in the championship or consolation game on Saturday, Nov. 30. The consolation game is set for 5 p.m. (eastern) and the championship game is slated for 7:30 p.m. (eastern).
Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament
Date: Friday, Nov. 29 – Saturday, Nov. 30
Site: Nashville, Tenn. (Memorial Gym)
Last Time Out
Despite a 93-84 setback against East Carolina on Saturday, the Phoenix saw four players score in double figures as the maroon and gold shot 54 percent from the field, including 50 percent from beyond the arc. Rookie Lauren Brown scored a team-high 17 points, followed by 16 points, including four three-pointers, from Zora Stephenson. Jenifer Rhodes continued her impressive freshman campaign with 15 points off seven field goals and eight rebounds, while Kelsey Harris posted 14 points.
Scouting the Commodores
Vanderbilt is currently 4-2 on the season after defeating Dayton 82-52 on Sunday. The Commodores also have wins over Appalachian State, Western Kentucky and Delaware State this season. Vandy has three players averaging in double figures with Christina Foggie posting 19.3 points per game and 4.5 assists per game. Rebekah Dahlman and Jasmine Lister are tallying 14.2 and 13.3 ppg, respectively. Friday will mark the first ever meeting between the Phoenix and the Commodores
Scouting the Badgers
Wisconsin is 3-1 this season after suffering its first loss at Alabama, 70-62, last week. The Badgers are averaging 71 points a game, while keeping opponents to 56 points. Five Wisconsin players are scoring in double figures, including 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game from Michala Johnson. Elon and Wisconsin have only met once before with the Badgers taking the win on Nov. 19, 2000.
Scouting the Bears
With a 3-2 record this year, Mercer has already defeated two SoCon teams in Furman and Western Carolina with four-point victories in both. Two Bears’ players average over 15 points per game in Precious Bridges (16.4 ppg) and Kendra Grant (15.3 ppg). Sharenea Boykin has 38 assists on the season, 7.6 per game, and only 16 turnovers. The last time the Phoenix and Mercer met was on Jan. 22, 1977. Mercer claimed the 77-59 win over Elon.
The NCAA released its first set of rankings on Nov. 25 and Elon finds itself ranked fourth nationally in three-point field goal percentage with a 46 percent mark from beyond the arc. The Phoenix also ranks 37th in field goal percentage as the team is shooting nearly 46 percent. Individually, Zora Stephenson is ninth in the country in three-point field goals per game (3.5/game), while Kelsey Harris is 25th in assists per game (6.3/game).
Freshman of the Week
The Southern Conference announced on Nov. 26 that Lauren Brown was selected as the CRONS Freshman of the Week. Brown led the Phoenix against East Carolina with a career-high 17 points. Despite a loss, the rookie shot 50 percent from the field after connecting on a career-high 6-of-12 shots. Brown also went 5-of-7 from the charity stripe to record a 71 percent free throw percentage. The Alpharetta, Ga., native also tallied two steals and two assists in the game against the Pirates. This marked the second straight freshman of the week honor for a Phoenix player.
After the tournament, Elon will play again on Sunday, Dec. 8, at NC State. The tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.