ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team hosts Belmont Abbey in an exhibition game at the Phoenix’s new state-of-the-art facility, Schar Center, on Saturday, Oct. 27. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. The contest will be free admission to all fans.
Updates of the game between the Phoenix and the Crusaders will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball. The contest will also be broadcasted on the radio via WSOE 89.3 and Phoenix All-Access.
Series History (Belmont Abbey leads 6-3 during regular-season play)
Elon and Belmont Abbey have met on the hardwood nine times all-time during the regular season, but Saturday will be the first meeting between the two programs in an exhibition since Nov. 4, 2012. The Phoenix earned an 83-42 victory versus the Crusaders in that contest as Elon has a perfect 7-0 ledger in exhibitions under head coach Charlotte Smith.
Dangerous at Home
Since Charlotte Smith took over the program in 2011-12, Elon has posted a 76-20 record in home contests. Last year, the Phoenix went 13-0 in its final season at Alumni Gym and has a current 18-game win streak on its home court. Elon’s last home loss came in a 76-70 defeat to James Madison on Jan. 20, 2017.
With 25 victories last season, Elon posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time as a Division I program. Overall, Elon has posted three 20-win seasons during the Division I era.
About the Phoenix
Elon returns eight letterwinners from its team that successfully defended its Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title and made a return trip to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Phoenix closed out 2017-18 with a 25-8 record overall and a 14-4 mark during league play including a 13-game winning streak to close out the regular season and conference tournament.
Additionally, Smith added five newcomers to the 2018-19 roster, which will again be one of the youngest in the nation with only two upperclassmen and no seniors. One of the returning upperclassmen is junior Jada Graves, who enters this season as the reigning CAA Defensive Player of the Year.
The Phoenix was tabbed to finish third in the 2018-19 CAA Preseason Poll as conducted by the league’s head coaches on Oct. 18. Sophomore guard Saadia Munford was chosen as a Preseason All-CAA selection with her spot on the third team. Munford is one of three returning starters for the Phoenix.
Scouting Belmont Abbey
The Crusaders enter 2018-19 selected to finish fourth in the Carolinas Conference preseason poll behind Limestone, Barton and King, respectively. Belmont Abbey is coming off of a 19-9 campaign, including a 16-4 mark in league play, that concluded in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament.
Belmont Abbey returns All-conference selections in sophomore forwards Allie Downing and Maria Kuhlman. Kuhlman is the reigning Carolinas Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging a team-best 13.6 points per game.
After playing its home games in Alumni Gym since the start of the program in 1972, Elon moves into its new facility, Schar Center, this season. The 5,100-seat facility will provide an elite venue for Phoenix basketball and volleyball games in addition to convocations, speakers and other major campus events. The facility is named for Dwight and Martha Schar, of Palm Beach, Fla.
The Phoenix opens the 2018-19 regular season with its highly-anticipated contest against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Schar Center on Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. The matchup will feature Smith – a former standout student-athlete for the Tar Heels from 1991-95 – against her alma mater and former head coach Sylvia Hatchell for the third time in her head coaching career.