Elon WBB Phoenix Ready to Duel Dragons Sunday in Alumni Gym

ELON, N.C. – After a road win in South Carolina on Friday, the Elon women’s basketball team (16-9, 9-5 CAA) is back home in Alumni Gym to host Drexel (14-11, 10-4 CAA) on Sunday, Feb. 21. Tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the game will be televised on the American Sports Network. 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
Led by a double-double from Autumn Carter, the Elon claimed a 54-38 win at College of Charleston in its last game on Friday in Charleston, S.C. The Phoenix finished 24-of-70 from the field on the day to shoot 34 percent, including 4-of-14 from three for a 29 percent mark. Elon struggled from the line with a 25 percent clip after hitting 2-of-8. The maroon and gold won the battle on the boards, 55-33, and tallied nine total blocks. Carter’s double-double was the first of her career after 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. The senior went 5-of-10 from the field on the day and also tallied three blocks and one assist. Playing in front of a hometown crowd, Jenifer Rhodes finished with 14 points after a 7-of-14 day and hauled down six boards. Malaya Johnson tallied seven rebounds, while Essence Baucom dished out a game-high six assists.

Scouting the Dragons
Drexel, a fellow 2015 WNIT participant, is 10-4 in conference play, coming off a 56-40 win over Towson on Friday night for its second straight win. The Dragons are one of the best teams in the nation at the free-throw line, ranking eighth and first in the league with a 77.1 team percentage. DU also has the third fewest turnovers (282) in the NCAA this season and ranks seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.35). From beyond the arc, the Dragons lead the CAA and are 38th nationally with a 34.8 three-point field goal percentage and make the 16th most threes a game (8.2/game). Junior Sarah Curran ranks third in the conference in scoring with 15.4 points per game, while also leading the team on the boards with 5.2 rebounds/game. Senior Rachel Pearson is 13th in the league in scoring (12.1 points/game) and leads the CAA in three-point field goal percentage (45.5). Guard Meghan Creighton maintains a tight handle on the ball with the best assist to turnover ratio in the NCAA (3.95) and ranks 14th in assists per game (6.2 /game).

The Series
Drexel has won all three previous meetings between the two teams, beginning with the first game during last season’s regular season. The Dragons claimed a 74-31 victory over the Phoenix earlier this year on Jan. 17 in Philadelphia.

From the Line
Shay Burnett owns an 79.6 percent mark from the charity stripe this season, which ranks third in the league. The sophomore ranks 52nd nationally and first in the CAA in free throw attempts (137) and 41st overall and first in the CAA in free throws made (109). As a team, Elon leads the league in both free throw attempts (499) and free throws made (340), which ranks 58th and 74th in the NCAA, respectively.

Block Party
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 4.6 blocks per game as a team, which ranks 61st nationally and fourth in the league.

On the Boards
Elon currently ranks second in the conference and 30th nationally in rebounds per game (42.36/game). The Phoenix holds a positive 3.2 rebounding margin, which is third in the CAA, is second in offensive rebounds (15.3/game) and is second in the league in defensive rebounds (27/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, 508-375, and averaging 20.32 points per game.

Season’s Best
The Phoenix shot a season high 49.2 percent against Towson on Feb. 12. Elon finished 30-of-61 from the field for the mark and tallied 42 points in the paint in its 80-58 victory. Prior to that the maroon and gold shot 48 percent in its Feb. 5 game against William & Mary. Elon went 26-of-54 from the field against the Tribe, including six buckets from long distance for 38 percent, and tallied 32 points in the paint.

Did you know that Shay Burnett’s game winner at Delaware on Feb. 7 was feature on ESPN’s SportsCenter as one of the top plays?

Elon in Overtime
After its overtime game at Delaware on Feb. 7, Elon is now 17-11 all-time in overtime games and 1-3 when the overtime goes past one period. The Phoenix has played three overtime games this season, two of which have gone to double overtime. The maroon and gold fell in double overtime at Navy on Nov. 24 and to James Madison in single overtime on Jan. 10 before winning its first OT game of the season against the Blue Hens. The team’s double overtime game at Navy on Nov. 24 marked the first time Elon played more than one overtime period since a four overtime game against Western Carolina in 2008.

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 an 85-66 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.

Home-Court Advantage
Alumni Gym has proven to be a tough place to play for opponents under head coach Charlotte Smith. The maroon and gold is 52-17 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.

Next Up
Elon plays its final home game of the regular season on Friday, Feb. 26, against Delaware. The game will also mark Senior Night for the program’s five seniors – Autumn Carter, Jessica Farmer, Lauren Hudson, Josepha Mbouma and Nicole Razor. Tip is set for 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.