RICHMOND, Va. – Announced Thursday morning, Aug. 17, the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) released Elon University women’s basketball’s 2017-18 conference schedule as it takes aim at defending its 2016-17 regular season and tournament titles.
Times for each of the 18 games are subject to change. The 2017-18 season marks the final year of competition in Alumni Gym with the program set to relocate to the Schar Center before to the 2018-19 campaign. Elon’s 2017-18 nonconference slate will be announced at a later date.
Set to open its conference slate Friday, Dec. 29, the Phoenix will welcome in-state rival UNCW to Alumni Gym. With the league moving to 20 play dates instead of the previously scheduled 18 in past years, Elon will then have New Years Eve off before returning to action the following Friday, Jan. 5, with a road game against Delaware.
Sandwiching in a home game Sunday, Jan. 7, against Northeastern, Elon will head back out on the road Jan. 12 and 14 for matchups against its two Virginia opponents – James Madison and William & Mary. First on Jan. 12, the Phoenix will return to the site of its 2017 CAA Tournament championship, where it defeated the Dukes for the first time since joining the CAA by 18 points – 78-60 – in the CAA title game to punch the program’s first-ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Two days later on Jan. 14, the Phoenix will take on William & Mary inside Kaplan Arena.
Returning home Jan. 19 and 21, the Phoenix will welcome Towson on Friday, Jan. 19, before closing the season series against Delaware on Sunday, Jan. 21. Following the home weekend, Elon will start a season-long three-game road trip against Drexel in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 26, at Towson on Sunday Jan. 28 and College of Charleston on Friday, Feb. 2, before returning home to start a three-game homestand against James Madison.
Continuing the homestand Feb. 9 and 11, Elon will take on Drexel for the second time in two weeks on Friday, Feb. 9, before welcoming College of Charleston for the second matchup between the two programs in a span of 10 days.
Elon’s final weekend with two games away from home comes with a Feb. 16 matchup on Long Island against Hofstra before continuing to Boston to battle Northeastern.
Following a second open date Friday, Feb. 23, Hofstra will make the return trip to Alumni Gym on Sunday, Feb. 25, before William & Mary makes its way to town Thursday, March 1, to help the Phoenix close the doors on 47 years of basketball in Alumni Gym. Two days later on Saturday, March 3, the Phoenix will close the regular season on the road against the opponent it started CAA play against – UNCW.
The 2017-18 CAA Tournament is set to be contested in Philadelphia inside Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center from Wednesday, March 7, to Saturday, March 10.
Seventh-year head coach Charlotte Smith, already one of the winningest coaches in program history, is looking to guide the Phoenix to a fourth-straight postseason appearance this season after making two trips to the WNIT in 2015 and 2016 and a journey to the Big Dance in 2017. A trip to postseason play would also mark the fifth time in six seasons Elon competes in the postseason after reaching the second round of the WBI in Smith’s second season in 2012-13.
The Phoenix returns back-to-back First Team All-CAA honoree Shay Burnett in 2017-18, as well as the conference’s leading shooter in Malaya Johnson. A season ago, Johnson hit 54.4 percent of her shots from the floor to pace the conference. Graduating five seniors after the 2016-17 season that helped guide Elon to a 27-7 record, the Phoenix welcomes six new faces to the program that figure to have an immediate impact in 2017-18.