Elon Women’s Basketball Closes Out Opening Weekend Sunday Against Navy

ELON, N.C. – After season-opening win over Anderson on Friday night, the Elon women’s basketball team (1-0) is back in action in Alumni Gym on Sunday, Nov. 16, for a 2 p.m. tip against the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy (0-1). Tickets can be purchased through the Elon Ticket Office. Admission is $10 for courtside seats, $5 for reserved seats and $3 for youth (12 and under).

Last Time Out
The Phoenix were provided an early-season test by visiting Anderson on Friday with the maroon and gold pulling out a 77-72 victory in Alumni Gym. Elon led by as much as 12 points before the Trojans claimed its only lead of the game, 56-54, with 12:06 to play in the second half. The Phoenix answered with a 10-0 run over a four-minute span to claim a strong enough lead as time expired. Elon saw four players score in double figures – Zora Stephenson with 15 points, Malaya Johnson with 13 points, Sam Coffer with 12 points and Essence Baucom with 10 points. All five of Stephenson’s field goals were from beyond the arc as she also hauled down five rebounds. Johnson went 6-of-9 from the field, while Baucom dished out eight assists.

Scouting the Mids
Navy opened its season on Friday with a 52-47 loss down the road at North Carolina A&T. The Mids were led by 11 points from Haley Unger and 10 points from Sarah Reilly, while Unger and Justice Swett both hauled down seven rebounds in the game. Last season, Navy compiled a 24-8 overall record on its way to the Patriot League’s regular-season title and a spot in the WNIT. The Mids only return one starter and two letterwinners from the 2013-14 squad and was selected to finish sixth this season in the Patriot League.

The Series
Sunday marks only the second game between Elon and the Naval Academy. The previous meeting took place just over five years ago on Nov. 14, 2009, in Alumni Gym. Navy claimed the win by seven points, 68-61.

Elon vs. Service Academies
Elon has a 1-1 overall record against the United States service academies. The Phoenix claimed a 75-67 win over Army at West Point in 1998 before losing to Navy, 68-61, in 2009. Elon has never played a game against Air Force, Coast Guard or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Burnett in Final Minutes
After spending some time on the bench in the second half due to foul trouble, Shay Burnett checked back in to the game against Anderson with 5:27 remaining and went to work. In the final five minutes, the freshman scored six points, going a perfect 3-for-3, hauled down a rebound and handed out one assist. Burnett scored six of Elon’s final nine points in the game and all six came with less than three minutes remaining.

Birthday Highs
On her 20th birthday, Josepha Mbouma saw six career highs in the team’s game against Anderson. The junior played 11 minutes and scored four points, including two free throws and a field goal. She also tallied one steal and one block in the outing.

Elon in Season Openers
The Phoenix is now 28-17 overall in season openers and 20-4 when opening the season in Alumni Gym. Elon was won its last two straight season openers after Friday’s 77-72 win over Anderson and a 73-68 victory against Winston-Salem State last season. The maroon and gold has won its last six season openers that were played on its home court.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fourth season with the Phoenix and owns a 51-44 career record. Smith led Elon to its second straight Southern Conference Tournament semifinal appearance and a 10-8 overall conference record last season.

Looking Ahead
Elon returns to action on Friday, Nov. 21, when it plays its first road game of the season at Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. Tip against the 49ers is set for 7 p.m. in Halton Arena.