Five Elon Phoenix Earn CAA WBB Postseason Accolades

RICHMOND, Va. – In the annual release of the Colonial Athletic Association postseason women’s basketball awards, Elon University had five student-athletes earn recognition Wednesday morning, March 7.

For the third year in a row, Shay Burnett has been tabbed a First Team All-CAA honoree. Both Malaya Johnson and Ra’Shika White picked up Second Team All-CAA accolades while Saadia Munford earned a CAA All-Rookie nod. Jada Graves was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-Defensive Team and White was selected as the CAA’s Sixth Player of the Year.

Over the course of her senior campaign, Burnett has averaged 13.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game to lead the Phoenix in all three categories. Should Burnett end the campaign leading the team in scoring, she would finish as Elon’s leading scorer each of her four years with the program after averaging 10.5 points per outing as a freshman in 2014-15, 12.9 in 2015-16 and 12.3 in 2016-17. She is also looking to end her career in maroon and gold leading the team in rebounds each of the last three seasons and assists in the last two campaigns.

This season, Burnett has recorded six double-doubles and the first two triple-doubles in Elon women’s basketball history. First against Coker on Nov. 27, 2017, Burnett had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Earlier this month in the final game in Alumni Gym, Burnett recorded 13 points, a career-high 14 assists and 10 rebounds in an 82-61 victory over William & Mary. Burnett has scored in double figures 24 times thus far this year, has pulled down double-digit rebounds seven times from her guard position and posted double-digit assists four times, including back-to-back outings Feb. 25 against Hofstra (11) and March 1 against the Tribe (14). To date, Burnett is fourth in program history with 1,523 points while her 872 rebounds ranks fourth and her 540 assists is second.

Johnson has had a breakout second half of her senior campaign after a slow start to CAA play in December and early January. This year, the senior from Mount Airy, N.C., is averaging 11.8 points per game to go with 6.0 rebounds per outing. Johnson opened her senior year with four-straight 14-point games before going on a drought in which she scored in double figures three times in a span of 11 games. Since that stretch, Johnson has reached double figures 11 times in the team’s last 13 contests and is averaging 15.2 points per game with a pair of season-high 20-point games at Drexel and Northeastern. Across her four years, Johnson has improved her scoring totals per season each year, but took a big leap in 2017-18 in averaging nearly three points per game more than her 9.1 a season ago. This year, Johnson is leading the CAA with a 55.2 field goal percentage. She also led the conference last season with a 54.4 percent clip from the floor. With 165 rejections in maroon and gold, Johnson ranks fourth for the most in program history. Twice this season Johnson earned CAA Player of the Week on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5.

Coming off the bench in 28 of Elon’s 29 games this season, White had a breakout campaign in averaging 13.2 points in 18.9 minutes per contest. This comes on the heels of her freshman campaign when she averaged just 5.1 points in 10.0 minutes per game. The Charlotte, N.C., native started her campaign with 29 points on 12-of-17 from the floor with eight rebounds against Winthrop and never looked back from there, reaching double figures in 16 of the first 18 games, which included a 10-game run spanning the end of non-conference action into the first seven games of conference play. Shooting 48.4 percent from the floor, she’s among the Top 5 in the CAA this season and is averaging 6.1 rebounds a game with a team-best 38 blocks.

Like White, Graves has also had a strong sophomore campaign. She’s averaged 6.8 points per game, but was consistently Elon’s go-to defensive player in averaging 2.5 steals per game with 70 on the year. Her 2.5 swipes ranks atop the CAA and 54th-best in the nation and her average has improved by 1.3 steals per outing since the 2016-17 campaign after she had just 1.2 per game as a freshman. Graves also averages 4.4 rebounds per game with 90 of her 123 rebounds coming on the defensive end this year.

In her first season of college basketball, Munford was strong at the point guard position in averaging 6.5 points with 3.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Replacing three-year starter Essence Baucom, Munford stepped in and played in all 29 games while starting 27. The Atlanta native closed non-conference play with a bang by dishing out a season-high 10 assists against NC Central, posting one of 12 double-digit assist games by a CAA player this season. Munford also had a season-best 15 points at home on Jan. 19 against Towson while also adding 13 in her third-career game against Hampton. Over the course of the season, Munford was named CAA Rookie of the Week twice on Dec. 26 and Jan. 22.

Elon will look to defend its CAA title this week when it competes in the CAA Tournament March 8-10. The team’s run at the title will start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, against sixth-seeded William & Mary. Should third-seeded Elon win the title, it would be the second team in CAA history not seeded No. 1 or No. 2 to win the tournament since the first competition was held in 1984. The only time the No. 1 or No. 2 seed didn’t win was 1992 when third-seeded Old Dominion beat top-seeded East Carolina.

2017-18 First Team All-CAA

Shay Burnett, Elon
Bianca Boggs, William & Mary
Nicole Enabosi, Delaware
Jess Genco, Northeastern
Kamiah Smalls, James Madison

2017-18 Second Team All-CAA
Malaya Johnson, Elon
Ra’Shika White, Elon
Lexie Barrier, James Madison
Mary Cuevas, Towson
Bailey Greenberg, Drexel
Kelsi Lidge, Drexel

2017-18 Third Team All-CAA
Tanisha Brown, Charleston
Kelly Koshuta, James Madison
Nukiya Mayo, Towson
Claudia Ortiz, Northeastern
Abby Rendle, William & Mary

2017-18 CAA All-Rookie Team
Saadia Munford, Elon
Stella Clark, Northeastern
Hannah Nihill, Drexel
Lizzie Oleary, Delaware
Nyla Pollard, William & Mary

2017-18 CAA All-Defensive Team
Jada Graves, Elon
Bianca Boggs, William & Mary
Mary Cuevas, Towson
Nicole Enabosi, Delaware
Kelsi Lidge, Drexel
Abby Rendle, William & Mary

2017-18 CAA Player of the Year: Nicole Enabosi, Delaware
2017-18 CAA Rookie of the Year: Hannah Nihill, Drexel
2017-18 CAA Defensive Player of the Year: Jada Graves, Elon
2017-18 CAA Sixth Player of the Year: Ra’Shika White, Elon
2017-18 CAA Coach of the Year: Denise Dillon, Drexel
2017-18 Dean Ehlers Recipient: Kelsi Lidge, Drexel
2017-18 CAA Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Rebekah Banks, UNCW