ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (9-5, 2-1 CAA) heads back out on the road this weekend for a two-game stretch, beginning with a matchup at Towson (4-10, 1-2 CAA) on Friday, Jan. 15, in Towson, Md. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. in SECU Arena.
Last Time Out
The Elon women’s basketball team rallied from as much as a 10-point deficit to lead Sunday’s game against James Madison with eight seconds left in regulation but eventually fell in a heartbreaker to the reigning Colonial Athletic Association champion, 81-76, in overtime. Jenifer Rhodes led the maroon and gold with a career-high matching 20 points after eight field goals and had five rebounds followed by Malaya Johnson with 12 points, six boards and three assists. Shay Burnett, who was limited to 17 minutes of play and fouled out with over six minutes left in regulation, tallied 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Lauren Brown went a perfect 6-for-6 in free throws to help finish with 11 points.
Scouting the Tigers
After a one-point victory at Northeastern to open conference play, Towson has dropped its last two games to both William & Mary and UNCW as it closes out a three-game home stand against Elon. The Tigers are 4-10 overall on the season after a three-point loss, 52-49, to the Seahawks on Sunday. TU has three players averaging in double figures. Raven Bankston and Dominique Johnson each post 15.3 and 14.9 points per game, respectively, which ranks fourth and fifth in the league in scoring. Sianni Martin averages 11.9 ppg, while Daijha Thomas is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.6 boards per game. Johnson also leads the conference and ranks 10th in the NCAA in free throw percentage with a 90.0 percent mark at the line this season.
Both previous meetings between Elon and Towson came during last year’s regular season. The Phoenix came out victorious in each game, including an 84-70 road win in SECU Arena on Feb. 5, 2015. Jenifer Rhodes posted 19 points off seven field goals, while Lauren Brown hit four triples to finish with 13 points as part of Elon’s 15 total threes in the game.
Elon in Overtime
After it’s overtime game against James Madison on Jan. 10, Elon is now 16-11 all-time in overtime games. However, the Phoenix is 0-3 when the overtime goes past one period. The team’s double overtime game at Navy on Nov. 24 marked the first time Elon has played more than one overtime since a four overtime game against Western Carolina in 2008.
Towson Pre-Game Social
Join the Elon Phoenix Club and the Office of Alumni Engagement for a pre-game social prior to the game at Towson on Friday evening. The free social will take place at Bill Bateman’s Bistro in Towson, Md., beginning at 5 p.m. and will include food and drinks. Those that pre-register for the social will also receive a complimentary ticket. To register for the social, click here.
Elon is Perfect When…
The Phoenix has a perfect record on the season when shooting over 70 percent from the free throw line (4-0) and in games played on Saturday (3-0).
From the Line
Shay Burnett owns an 84 percent mark from the charity stripe this season, which ranks 67th in the NCAA and third in the league. The sophomore ranks 31st nationally and first in the CAA in free throw attempts (94) and 17th overall and first in the CAA in free throws made (76).
Elon’s 17 total team blocks on Nov. 29 against East Tennessee State marked a new Division I single-game high this season and also set a new CAA single-game record. The Phoenix saw five players set new or match career highs in blocks against the Buccaneers in Malaya Johnson (5), Autumn Carter (4), Essence Baucom (2), Lauren Brown (2) and Maddie McCallie (1). Elon is currently averaging 5.1 blocks per game as a team, which ranks 39th nationally and second in the league.
On the Boards
Elon currently ranks fourth in the conference in rebounds per game (40.3/game). The Phoenix holds a positive advantage in the rebounding margin, which is fourth in the CAA, is fourth in offensive rebounds (14.4/game) and is fourth in the league in defensive rebounds (25.9/game).
Off the Bench
The Elon bench has been a contributor to the maroon and gold’s success this season. The Phoenix bench is outscoring the opponents, 286-233, and averaging 20.4 points per game.
The Phoenix is averaging 7.9 steals per game, while opponents are managing 7.1, and ranks fifth in the CAA in that category. The Elon defense tallied an impressive 14 steals in its win over Lenoir-Rhyne on Nov. 14 and another 10 at Liberty on Nov. 16.
Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fifth season with the Phoenix and owns a 78-62 career record. Smith has led Elon to three straight conference tournament semifinal appearances, as well as an at-large bid to the 2015 WNIT, the first in program history, after a 19-13 overall record and 11-7 league mark in its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Alumni Gym has proven to be a tough place to play for opponents under head coach Charlotte Smith. The maroon and gold is 48-16 in Alumni Gym in five seasons under Coach Smith. The Phoenix went 10-5 at home during the 2014-15 season after a 10-4 record during the 2013-14 season. The Phoenix has lost no more than five games at home in a season under Smith.
The Phoenix remains on the road and travels to Philadelphia for its next game at Drexel on Sunday, Jan. 17. Tip is set for 2 p.m. in the Daskalakis Athletic Center.