ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team will wrap up its three-game road swing this Tuesday, Nov. 20, as the Phoenix treks to Boone, N.C., for a visit to Appalachian State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside the Holmes Convocation Center.
The game will be streamed on ESPN+ via a paid subscription. Fans can also listen to the game on WSOE 89.3 with Drew Gentry on the call. Other updates of the game between the Phoenix and the Blue Devils will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball.
Series History (Appalachian State leads 22-12)
The Phoenix and the Mountaineers will meet for the 35th time on Tuesday and the first time since 2014 when both were longtime foes in the Southern Conference. Appalachian State leads the series all-time 22-12, but Elon has won three of the past four meetings including a 59-56 decision in the most recent contest in 2014.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix dropped an 81-64 decision at Duke on Sunday, Nov. 18, inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. After an early lead and a competitive first half, the Phoenix was held to only 25 points in the second half and to 9-of-27 shooting. Junior guard Lexi Mercer led the Phoenix with a career-high 19 points and was one of three players in double figures for Elon. Sophomores Emily Maupin and Ariel Colón chipped in with 16 points apiece with Colón grabbing a team-best eight rebounds.
• Elon has three active players currently averaging double-digit scoring on the season with Mercer (15.0 PPG), Maupin (13.7) and Colón (12.3). Rookie Brie Perpignan is close at 9.0 PPG as the Phoenix as a team is averaging 72.0 PPG.
• Mercer continues her steady progression throughout her Elon career and is really stepping up as the lone active upperclassmen on the squad. After averaging just 1.3 points per game and 6.8 minutes per contest as a freshman, the Goldsboro, N.C., native averaged 6.1 PPG as a sophomore before breaking out with her team-high 15.0 PPG so far in 2018-19.
• Maupin and Colón have also broken out during their sophomore campaigns after limited playing time as rookies last season. Maupin has averaged 17.0 PPG over the past two games while shooting a team-best 58.3 percent (14-of-24) and grabbing 6.0 boards per game.
• After entering the starting lineup for the past two games, Colón has displayed an all-around game as the Orlando, Fla., native is averaging a double-double at 14.5 PPG and 10.0 RPG. She has also dished out seven assists (3.5 APG) in the past two games.
• Appalachian State assistant coach Kate Dempsey has ties to Elon after serving as the program’s director of operations for two seasons from 2012-2014.
• 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.
• 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. Elon received one first-place vote en route to 61 points for a tie for third place. James Madison (79 points) and Drexel (71 points) were selected in front of the Phoenix, who tied with Delaware for third with 61 points.
• Elon returns three starters from last year’s team including sophomore guard Saadia Munford, an CAA All-Rookie team selection in 2017-18. Munford was chosen as a Preseason All-CAA selection this season with her spot on the third team.
• Additionally, the Phoenix 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.
Scouting Appalachian State (2-2)
Appalachian State has won two in a row after coming off an 81-78 victory at Davidson on Saturday, Nov. 17. Five different Mountaineer players scored in double figures against the Wildcats including a team and season-high 17 points from Tierra Wilson. After coming off an 8-23 record in 2017-18, ASU was tabbed to finish ninth in the 2018-19 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Preseason poll.
Wilson leads the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game off the bench and is one of four double-digit scorers for the Mountaineers. The sophomore guard has also knocked down a team-best eight treys on the season while shooting 34.8 percent from behind the arc. Redshirt junior guard Ashley Polacek, who hit the game-winning three-pointer versus Davidson, is averaging 10.5 points per game and has a team-best 16 assists (4.0 APG).
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.
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.
The Phoenix returns to Schar Center to host Chowan on Wednesday, Nov. 28. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.