ELON, N.C. – Set to open a stretch with three of its next four games inside Alumni Gym, Elon University women’s basketball will host Northeastern on Friday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. looking to remain atop the CAA standings. Fans can watch and listen to the game on Phoenix All-Access.
Elon leads Northeastern 4-1 in the all-time series. The Phoenix and Huskies met in Boston on Jan. 27 with Elon earning a 76-65 victory at the Cabot Center. Shay Burnett led Elon in the game with 17 points while Meme Garner broke out with a then-career-best 13 points. Jenifer Rhodes also added 12 points in the win.
The Huskies have lost four in a row with the first loss of the streak the Jan. 27 defeat against Elon. During the stretch, Northeastern has dropped games to the Phoenix, Drexel, William & Mary and JMU by an average of 16.5 points per game. Francesca Sally leads Northeastern with 12.1 points and 8.2 boards per game. Claudia Ortiz also averages 11.5 points per contest.
Elon won its fifth in a row with a 66-56 victory at UNCW on Sunday, Feb. 5. Shay Burnett passed the 1,000-career point mark with 23 points to go with 12 rebounds and eight assists in the game. Jenifer Rhodes added 13 points and seven rebounds while Lauren Brown tallied 10 points. Malaya Johnson scored six points and was big on the boards with 10 rebounds on the afternoon.
STARTING A NEW STREAK
Elon’s nine-game winning streak from Dec. 17 against ETSU to Jan. 15 against Drexel was the most the team has won in a row as a Division I program. The last time Elon had won that many in a row came during a 12-game winning streak in 1981-82 under coach Mary Jackson. Elon has now won five in a row since falling to James Madison on Jan. 20. It’s also won 14 of its last 15 games.
Elon checks in as the top mid-major in the NCAA RPI at No. 29 Thursday. It is also soared to No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll. Elon was No. 8 in the espnW Mid-Major poll last week, one spot ahead of JMU and the highest CAA team on the list.
Senior Jenifer Rhodes has scored 986 points in her career with the Phoenix. Both Lauren Brown and Shay Burnett already surpassed 1,000-career points earlier in conference action.
Senior guard Lauren Brown became the 21st player in program history to surpass the 1,000-career point mark with a three-pointer at the start of the second half in the win at William & Mary on Jan. 22. In doing so, she became the first Phoenix to hit the number since Kelsey Harris did in February 2014. Shay Burnett joined Brown on Feb. 5 as the 22nd player in program history to accomplish the feat when she hit a three-pointer early in the second half at UNCW.
Elon has never had three players reach the 1,000-point mark in a single season. It’s been done twice before this season with Venessa Corbet and Lou Williamson in 1979-80 and Elizabeth Ward and Laura Case in 1992-93. Both Lauren Brown and Shay Burnett have already reached the 1,000-career point mark this season.
MAKING IT LOOK EASY
At the halfway point of the CAA season, Elon’s .889 winning percentage was the best mark for the Phoenix in the program’s 18-year run as a Division I program. The previous best mark came when Elon started the 2001-02 Big South season with a .857 winning percentage, a record of 6-1.
REWRITING THE BOOKS
Through 23 games this season, Elon’s 18-5 record marks the best start in the program’s D-I history. Before the second half of the CAA season, the 16 wins marked just the second time Elon has posted 15 or more victories in the first 21 games of a season to date. The previous best mark was during 2010-11 when the Phoenix started 15-6. That season, Elon finished with 20 wins and went to the second round of the WBI.
Elon’s wins Jan. 8 over Delaware, Jan. 13 at Charleston and Feb. 3 over Towson mark the three largest in conference play as a member of the CAA. The 84-56 (+28) victory at Charleston and the 83-55 (+28) win over Towson are the largest in two-plus CAA seasons. The 69-42 (+27) home win over Delaware was the previous biggest CAA win for the program before it was topped days later at Charleston. Before that, Elon’s biggest CAA win was 22 points last season over Towson and UNCW.
RACKING UP THE AWARDS
Elon freshman center Ra’Shika White has been named the CAA Rookie of the Week twice this season up to this point, while freshman guard Jada Graves has earned the accolade once. Shay Burnett was named CAA Player of the Week on both Dec. 26 and Feb. 6 after scoring her 1,000th-career point and Lauren Brown earned the CAA honor on Jan. 16.
Charlotte Smith earned her 100th career win on Jan. 15 against Drexel and now owns a record of 105-75. She has led Elon to back-to-back WNIT appearances and three postseason appearances in five seasons. Her teams have won at least 18 games in now four of the last five seasons. With the win Jan. 29 at Hofstra, she is now Elon’s third-winningest coach in program history. She passed Jackie Myers on the list, who led the Phoenix from 1985-94 and won 102 games a the program’s leader.
The Phoenix heads to James Madison for a rematch with the Dukes on Sunday, Feb. 12. JMU defeated Elon 76-70 on Jan. 20 for Elon’s only loss in the last 15 games dating back to Dec. 8 at then-No. 21 Duke.