ELON, N.C. – After a nine-day layoff, the Elon University women’s basketball team returns to its home floor to host Triad rival North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Schar Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. with admission free for all fans.
The game will be streamed on Phoenix All-Access at elonphoenix.com. Fans can also listen to the game on WSOE 89.3. Other updates of the game between the Phoenix and the Aggies will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball.
Series History (Elon leads at 11-7)
The Phoenix owns a 11-7 record all-time against North Carolina A&T with the most recent matchup occurring last season in Greensboro, N.C. Elon defeated the Aggies, 90-59, in that contest to snap a five-game losing skid to its Piedmont Triad rival. The win was the first for Elon head coach Charlotte Smith against the Aggies in her head coaching career.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix saw its two-game winning streak come to a halt in a 58-57 setback at the hands of Winthrop on Sunday, Dec. 9. Lexi Mercer led Elon with 12 points off the bench while Jaylin Powell also contributed with 11 to lead the double-figure scorers for the Phoenix. Elon was down by as many as 19 in the first half of the contest, but rallied to take the lead in the second half and hold a lead in the fourth quarter. A Phoenix three-minute scoring drought in the final period allowed the Eagles to stay in the game and eventually take the lead and earn the one-point victory.
• Going into Tuesday’s matchup, Elon still leads the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring at 70.0 points per game. The Phoenix also currently sits second in the league at field gold percentage at .418.
• Elon gets out to a fast start after halftime, outscoring its opponents 177-149 in the third quarter.
• Four active players Phoenix are averaging at least nine points per game with Mercer (12.0 PPG), Ariel Colón (11.9 PPG) and Emily Maupin (11.2 PPG) the lone double-digit scorers for Elon.
• Rookie Brie Perpignan leads the CAA in field goal percentage at .536. She is one of two players that ranks in the top-11 of the league in field goal percentage along with Maupin (fourth, .483) and Mercer (11th, .451).
• Colón leads the Phoenix in rebounding at 7.4 boards per contest, good for fourth in the league. She also is also ninth in the CAA in three-point percentage at .387 percent.
• Elon’s bench outscored Winthrop’s, 36-20 in the Phoenix’s most recent game. That was the fifth straight game that Elon’s reserves outscored the opposition.
• 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 North Carolina A&T (2-7)
North Carolina A&T is 2-7 on the year after yielding a 61-56 result at East Tennessee State last Thursday, Dec. 13. The Aggies, led by head coach Tarrell Robinson, are coming off a 23-9 record last season including a 15-1 ledger in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. They were tabbed as the league favorites in the 2018-19 MEAC Preseason Poll.
As a team, the Aggies are averaging 55.1 points per game and are shooting .368 percent from the floor. Junior C’Coriea Foy is averaging a team-best 12.5 points per contest, the only player for N.C. A&T averaging in double figures. She also leads the team in steals (1.8) while dishing out 3.4 assists per contest. Alexus Lessears is second on the team in scoring at 9.7 PPG and leads the Aggies with 6.8 boards per contest.
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 closes up a two-game homestand this week with a visit from Auburn on Saturday, Dec. 22. That game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start time.