ELON, N.C. – Set to contest its final road game of the 2016-17 regular season, Elon University women’s basketball will take on Towson inside SECU Arena on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on CAA.tv and heard on Phoenix All-Access.
After Elon’s 83-55 win over Towson on Feb. 3 in Alumni Gym, the Phoenix owns a 4-1 record against the Tigers. Across the five meetings, Elon’s four wins have come by an average of 19.8 points. Last time the two met, Elon earned the 28-point win, which ties for Elon’s largest CAA victory in nearly three full seasons in the league.
Sitting 12-15 overall and 5-11 in CAA play, Towson will hold Senior Day Sunday to honor Raven Bankston and Brianna Bush. Last time out, Towson defeated Hofstra 59-56 in Hempstead, N.Y., snapping an eight-game losing streak that dated back to Jan. 22 when the Tigers completed the season sweep of James Madison. Elon’s last visit to SECU Arena marked the only loss against Towson for the Phoenix. In the game, Elon dropped an 85-78 decision on Jan. 15, 2016.
Elon locked up one of the top two seeds in the CAA Tournament last time out with a 57-48 win at Delaware. The Phoenix led by as many as 14 midway through the third quarter, but UD chipped away as Elon went scoreless through the last 5:20 of the third as Delaware came as close as five at 51-46 with 1:40 to play. Essence Baucom and Jenifer Rhodes each tallied 11 points to lead the Phoenix. The 48 points allowed marks the fourth time this conference season Elon has allowed less than 50 points in a game. In the previous two seasons, it combined for five.
With three players – Lauren Brown, Shay Burnett and Jenifer Rhodes – reaching the 1,000-career point mark this season, it marks the first time in program history a trio of teammates have reached the milestone in the same season. Before this year, two players reaching 1,000 points in the same season had been done twice by Venessa Corbett and Lou Williamson in 1979-80 and Elizabeth Ward and Laura Case in 1992-93.
Elon checked in at No. 26 in the NCAA RPI Saturday, the top mid-major on the list one spot ahead of Green Bay (No. 27). It also ranks No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll and received one first-place vote. Elon is No. 8 in the espnW Mid-Major poll for the second week in a row.
Elon and JMU are guaranteed a top-two seed in the CAA Tournament. For Elon to clinch the top seed, JMU would need to lose once in the remaining two games if Elon were to win out. At the bottom of the bracket, Charleston will be charged two losses in conference play while UNCW and William & Mary will each add one win when finalizing seeding, as determined by the CAA last month.
ON THE ROAD
Elon has been stellar away from Alumni Gym this season. To date, the Phoenix is 12-4 away from home, including neutral games. Prior to the loss at JMU on Feb. 12, Elon had won each of its previous nine road games. The nine-game road winning streak marked the longest streak for the program as a Division I team. The previous long was five games from Jan. 8 to Jan. 29 in 2010-11, the final season of the Karen Barefoot era.
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 nearly three full 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.
With 22 victories this season, it marks just the second time Elon has reached the 20-win mark as a Division I program and is the first time Elon has earned the accomplishment in regular-season play. Last time Elon reached 20 wins in 2010-11, the Phoenix finished 20-13 and recorded its 20th win in the 32nd game of the season in the WBI against USC Upstate.
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.
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’s only losses in the last 20 games have come against James Madison on Jan. 20 and Feb. 12 by six and seven points, respectively.
The Phoenix will take the floor one final time during the regular season on Wednesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. back inside Alumni Gym against in-state foe UNCW.