ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team (9-7, 2-3 CAA) looks to snap a three-game losing skid when it hosts College of Charleston (6-10, 1-4 CAA) on Friday, Jan. 22, in a 7 p.m. tip in Alumni Gym. 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
Shooting woes plagued Elon in its last game on Jan. 17 as the Phoenix was not able to overpower a hot-shooting Drexel team, falling 74-31, in Philadelphia. The maroon and gold was held to a season-low 22 percent clip from the field off a 13-of-58 performance, hitting only three baskets from long distance. Elon finished 2-of-4 from the charity stripe (50 percent) but held the advantage on the boards, 38-36. Essence Baucom and Shay Burnett both finished with seven points for the Phoenix followed by six points from Lauren Brown, while Jenifer Rhodes hauled down seven rebounds.
Scouting the Cougars
CofC snapped a five-game losing skid when it claimed its first CAA win of the season with a 64-53 victory at UNCW on Jan. 17. The win was only the second for the Cougars since Dec. 2 as the team is 6-10 overall and 1-4 in league play. Breanna Bolden is the Cougars’ leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.8 points and 6.9 boards per game. Bolden ranks sixth in the league in scoring, 12th in rebounding and first in steals (44) and steals per game (2.75). Jackie Luna-Castro also averages in double figures with 11.1 points per game, while Kelsey Booth posted a career-high 18 points at UNCW last week.
CofC owns the advantage in the all-time series, 14-11, which dates back to 1981. All but two of the 25 total meetings have taken place in the last 12 years. Despite trailing the Cougars by three games, the Phoenix has won seven of the last eight matchups, including both conference games last season. The teams last played in Alumni Gym on Jan. 11, 2015, with Elon claiming a 77-68 win with the help of 10 points from both Lauren Brown and Malaya Johnson.
From the Line
Shay Burnett owns an 82.5 percent mark from the charity stripe this season, which ranks 81st in the NCAA and fourth in the league. The sophomore ranks 31st nationally and first in the CAA in free throw attempts (103) and 18th overall and first in the CAA in free throws made (85).
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 4.8 blocks per game as a team, which ranks 52nd nationally and second in the league.
On the Boards
Elon currently ranks second in the conference in rebounds per game (40.81/game). The Phoenix holds a positive 1.3 rebounding margin, which is fourth in the CAA, is third in offensive rebounds (14.7/game) and is fourth in the league in defensive rebounds (26.1/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, 336-258, and averaging 21 points per game.
Elon is Perfect When…
The Phoenix has a perfect record on the season in games played on Saturday (3-0).
Head Coach Charlotte Smith
Elon head coach Charlotte Smith is in her fifth season with the Phoenix and owns a 78-64 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 to the hardwood in a few days to host in-state opponent UNCW on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.