Elon Women’s Basketball Opens 2018-19 Versus North Carolina

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team begins the 2018-19 campaign on Tuesday, Nov. 6, versus the North Carolina Tar Heels for the first regular-season basketball game at Schar Center. Tipoff for the contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Follow @ElonWBasketball
The contest will be broadcasted on Phoenix All-Access and on the radio at WSOE 89.3. Other updates of the game between the Phoenix and the Tar Heels will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball.

Series History (UNC leads 9-2)
Elon and North Carolina will meet for the 12th on the hardwood on Tuesday and for the first time in Elon since 1975. The Tar Heels have won eight straight in the series including a 78-73 contest the last time the programs met in 2016 in Chapel Hill. Elon’s last victory in the series came in 1975.

Phoenix head coach Charlotte Smith – a standout student-athlete at UNC from 1991-95 – will face her alma mater and former head coach Sylvia Hatchell for the third time in her head coaching career.

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.

Schar Center
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.

20-Game Winners
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.

Last Time Out
Elon hosted Belmont Abbey in its lone exhibition contest on Saturday, Oct. 27, and pulled away with a 58-54 victory fending off the Crusaders in a tightly contested game at Schar Center. Junior guard Lexi Mercer led the Phoenix with 19 points while going 3-of-5 from three while sophomore forward Emily Maupin added 14.

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 North Carolina
The Tar Heels enter the 2018-19 season selected to finish eighth in the Preseason Atlantic Coast Conference poll after coming off a 15-16 overall campaign with a 4-12 league ledger last season. UNC had two players named to the Preseason All-ACC Team in senior Paris Kea and sophomore Janelle Bailey, the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year. Kea was also named to Leslie and Lieberman Award watch lists for the upcoming season.

Carolina welcomes back four starters from last year’s club. Along with Kea and Bailey, UNC also returns junior Taylor Koenen and sophomore Jaelynn Murray. Another pair of all-conference performers, Destinee Walker and Stephanie Watts, also will see action after both missed all of 2017-18 due to injury.

Up Next
Elon travels to North Carolina Central for the start of a three-game road swing next Tuesday, Nov. 13. That game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.