Elon WBB Welcomes Blue Hens for Senior Night

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (17-11, 10-7) returns home to Alumni Gym after a two-game road trip for its regular-season finale against Delaware (13-15, 8-9) on Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. The game also marks senior night for Elon’s three seniors – Shannen Cochraham, Sam Coffer and Zora Stephenson. Tickets can be purchased through the Elon Ticket Office. Admission is $15 for courtside seats, $8 for reserved seats and $5 for youth (12 and under).

Last Time Out
The Phoenix led by as much as 26 points in its last game at Hofstra on Sunday before the Pride was able to pull within two with less than three minutes remaining. A strong performance by Shay Burnett and Lauren Brown from the free throw line helped the maroon and gold hold on for the victory. During the final three minutes of the game, Elon was sent to the line 10 times and converted eight attempts, including five by Burnett. The Pride was only able to pull within four, 62-58, with 23 seconds left, allowing Elon to finish out the 64-58 win. Burnett posted her third double-double of the season by tying her career high with 21 points (6-of-8 FG and 7-of-8 FT) and a new career-high 11 rebounds, while also handing out seven assists. Zora Stephenson scored 16 points for the Phoenix after a 6-of-9 performance, including four threes. Jenifer Rhodes tied her career high of six blocks, which already ranks second on Elon’s single-game records list to led Elon to tie its season-high 11 blocks.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware is coming off a close 74-71 loss to league-leader James Madison on Sunday and looks to break a four-game losing streak against the Phoenix. The Blue Hens have lost each of its last three games by only three points, including a defeat in overtime. UD leads the CAA and ranks 14th in the country in three-point field goal percentage with a 37.2 mark but struggles to defend from the perimeter with opponents owning a 34.3 shooting percentage from long distance. The Blue Hens own a positive 1.4 rebounding margin to sit fourth in the league and is third in defensive rebounds with 25.9 per game. Sophomore Erika Brown is the team’s leading scorer with 14.4 points per game followed closely by Courtni Green with 13.6 points/game as the two rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the conference in scoring. Hannah Jardine also averages in double figures (12.0/game) and is seventh in the CAA on the boards with 6.9 rebounds per game.

The Series
Wednesday marks on the second meeting between Elon and Delaware with the first coming earlier this season in Newark, Del, on Jan. 4. The Phoenix claimed a 60-50 win over the Blue Hens to take the 1-0 advantage in the series.

The Seniors
The 2015 Elon women’s basketball senior class has helped the Phoenix post a 67-55 record over the past four seasons and make a post-season appearance in 2013. This season, Shannen Cochraham, Sam Coffer and Zora Stephenson have led Elon through its transition to the Colonial Athletic Association with a 10-7 mark in its inaugural season.

SAAC Food Drive
Elon’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is currently hosting a food drive as part of the Colonial Athletic Association’s third-annual conference-wide Food Drive Challenge that will run through Friday, March 6. All food and monetary gifts collected will go to Allied Churches of Alamance County. SAAC members will be on hand at home events, including the women’s basketball game against Delaware on March 4, to collect nonperishable food items and monetary donations.

The Century Mark
On Dec. 21, Sam Coffer played her 100th game in a Phoenix uniform and has now earned the start in over 100 games after the game against College of Charleston on Jan. 11. Teammate Zora Stephenson reached the same mark of 100 games played on Dec. 31 against Lenoir-Rhyne followed by fellow senior Shannen Cochraham, who has played in 99 career games.

If The Season Ended Today…
Elon would be the fourth seed in the 2015 CAA Women’s Basketball Championship. The Phoenix would play fifth-seeded UNCW in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13, at 2:30 p.m. This year’s tournament is being held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Record Watch
Seniors Zora Stephenson and Sam Coffer are both moving up the list in Elon’s record book. Stephenson has made 223 three-pointers in her career and is currently third in the record book in that category, just 11 triples from tying second. Her 77 baskets from three this season already ranks sixth on Elon’s single season record list. Coffer currently ranks fourth on the all-time blocked shots record list with 123 career blocks.

Program Milestone
The Phoenix women’s basketball team reached a program marker of 600 wins with its 64-58 win at Hofstra on March 1.

Spark of the Bench
The extra spark that Elon has had off the bench has been a tremendous asset so far this season. The Phoenix is out scoring its opponents, 604-469, in bench points. Sophomores Lauren Brown and Jenifer Rhodes have been a big part of the team’s depth with the two players each averaging 8.2 points per game, respectively.

Block Party
Elon currently ranks first in the conference and 37th nationally with 4.9 blocked shots/game, while Malaya Johnson (1.3) ranks fourth, Jenifer Rhodes (1.2) ranks seventh and Sam Coffer (1.1) ranks ninth in the league in blocks. Elon posted a season-high 11 blocks in its game at NC State on Dec. 7 and again at Hofstra on March 1. That mark tied a team-high mark under head coach Charlotte Smith. The only other time the Phoenix has recorded 11 blocks in a game in the last four years was at Georgia Southern on Jan. 13, 2014.

On the Defensive
On the defensive side of the ball, Elon is first in the league in blocked shots (4.9/game), fourth in field goal defense (39.0 percent), sixth in three-point field goal defense (31.1 percent) and fifth in steals (7.8/game).

From the Field
Elon is first in the CAA in field-goal percentage and fifth in field-goal percentage defense. The Phoenix owns a 42.5 shooting percentage 28 games into the season, while holding opponents to 39 percent. Malaya Johnson is second in the league with her 52.4 shooting percentage, while Shay Burnett (47 percent) and Jenifer Rhodes (46.3 percent) rank ninth and 11th, respectively.

Beyond the Arc
The Phoenix is shooting 35.5 percent from the three-point line and is third in the league in the long-distance shooting category. The team is sixth in three-point defense with opponents only shooting 31.1 percent from beyond the arc. Two Elon players currently rank in the top 10 in the conference in three-point field goal percentage. Lauren Brown (38.6 percent) ranks second and Zora Stephenson (37.9 percent) ranks fourth. Stephenson also ranks 28th nationally with 2.75 three-point field goals per game.

Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fourth season with the Phoenix and owns a 67-55 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
Next up for the Phoenix is the 2015 CAA Women’s Basketball Championship in Upper Marlboro, Md., at the Show Place Arena. The tournament begins on Thursday, March 12, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday, March 15. Elon will likely not play until the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13.