ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team looks to rebound and get back in the win column with its next game in Philadelphia at Drexel on Sunday, Jan. 17. Tip is set for 2 p.m. in the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Last Time Out
Elon’s game on Friday at Towson entered the final period tied at 48-all, but the Phoenix was not able to take the advantage in the final 10 minutes as Towson claimed the win, 85-78. The Phoenix went 25-of-67 from the field to shoot 37 percent, including 30 three-point attempts, converting six, for a 20 percent clip from beyond the arc. The team finished 73 percent from the charity stripe after converting 22-of-30 attempts. Elon claimed the advantage on the boards, 51-36, and in points off the bench, 37-10. Lauren Brown led the Phoenix with 17 points after hitting four threes followed by 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists from Shay Burnett. Essence Baucom finished with 11 points and six assists, while Malaya Johnson had a game-high nine rebounds.
Scouting the Dragons
Drexel, a fellow 2015 WNIT participant, is 2-2 in conference play thus far, coming off a 67-56 defeat at James Madison on Friday night. Drexel is one of the best teams in the nation at the free-throw line, ranking 10th and first in the league with a 76.7 team percentage. DU also has the 10th fewest turnovers (193) in the NCAA this season and ranks 29th in assist/turnover ratio (1.18). From beyond the arc, the Dragons lead the CAA and are 16th nationally with a 37.1 three-point field goal percentage. Junior Sarah Curran and senior Rachel Pearson both rank in the top 10 in the conference in scoring with 15.3 and 13.9 points per game, respectively. Curran also leads the team on the boards with 5.3 rebounds per game, while Pearson leads the CAA in three-point field goal percentage (39.4). Guard Meghan Creighton maintains a tight handle on the ball with the second best assist to turnover ratio in the NCAA (4.26) and ranks 10th in assists per game (6.5/game).
Both previous meetings between Elon and Drexel came during the regular season last year with the Dragons taking the win in both games. The Phoenix last played in Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 2015, falling by just three, 54-51.
Elon is Perfect When…
The Phoenix has a perfect record on the season in games played on Saturday (3-0).
From the Line
Shay Burnett owns an 83.2 percent mark from the charity stripe this season, which ranks 67th in the NCAA and third in the league. The sophomore ranks 28th nationally and first in the CAA in free throw attempts (101) and 16th overall and first in the CAA in free throws made (84).
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 5.0 blocks per game as a team, which ranks 42nd nationally and second in the league.
On the Boards
Elon currently ranks second in the conference in rebounds per game (41.0/game). The Phoenix holds a positive 1.2 rebounding margin, which is fourth in the CAA, is fourth in offensive rebounds (14.6/game) and is third in the league in defensive rebounds (26.4/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, 324-243, and averaging 21.6 points per game.
The Phoenix is averaging 7.6 steals per game, while opponents are managing 7.5, 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 78-63 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.
Elon returns home to Alumni Gym next weekend to host College of Charleston on Friday, Jan. 22, in a 7 p.m. tip.