ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team wraps up non-conference play on Saturday, Dec. 22, as the Phoenix hosts Auburn at Schar Center. The game is scheduled to begin with a 2 p.m. tip-off.
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 Tigers will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball.
Saturday Game Promotion
Fans are encouraged to wear their most festive and decorative holiday sweater or other gear to the game on Saturday.
Series History (First-ever meeting)
Elon and Auburn will meet on the basketball hardwood for the first time on Saturday. Saturday will also be the sixth time under Phoenix head coach Charlotte Smith that the program will face an opponent from the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Smith and the Phoenix picked up its first victory against an SEC opponent last season with a 60-55 win versus Alabama in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Last Time Out
Elon returned to the winning side in its most recent game on Tuesday, Dec. 18, with a 73-64 victory over fellow Triad rival North Carolina A&T. Sophomore Emily Maupin led the Phoenix with 14 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Kayla Liles and Ariana Nance had 10 points each off the pine, helping Elon outscored the Aggies’ bench 38-6. It was the sixth straight game that the Phoenix’s reserves had outscored the opposition.
• Going into Saturday’s matchup, Elon is second the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring at 70.3 points per game behind College of Charleston’s 70.4. The Phoenix and the Cougars are the only two teams in the league averaging more than 70 points per game.
• The Phoenix ranks in the top-three in field goal percentage in the CAA at .418 percent and is fourth overall in the league in three-point field goal percentage at .323.
• Elon currently has five active players averaging seven points or more with four of the five in their first or second year of collegiate basketball. Maupin leads the team with 11.5 points per game followed by Ariel Colón at 11.3. Lexi Mercer, the lone active upperclassman on the squad, rounds out the double-digit scorers at 11.1 points per game.
• Rookie Brie Perpignan leads the CAA in field goal percentage at .525 (31-of-59). She is one of two players for the Phoenix that ranks in the top-five of the league in field goal percentage along with Maupin (fifth, .480). Perpignan is also the top assist person for the Phoenix at 2.8 per game.
• Colón leads the Phoenix in rebounding at 7.0 boards per contest, good for sixth in the league. She is also 10th in the CAA in three-point percentage at .400 percent.
• The Phoenix won its 299th game as a program at the Division I level versus the Aggies on Tuesday. It was also the 1,300th game for the team all time.
• 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 Auburn (10-1)
Auburn comes into the game winners of seven straight after a 86-81 overtime victory versus North Carolina on Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Carolinas Challenge in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Tigers are off to their best start since 2008-09 after coming off a 14-15 ledger in 2017-18 including a 5-11 mark during SEC play. Prior to the season, Auburn was tabbed to finish eighth in the 2018-19 SEC Preseason Poll.
All five starters for the Tigers are scoring in double digits with the team averaging 80.6 points per game. Senior Janiah McKay leads the balanced scoring attack for Auburn with her team-high 15.8 points per game. She also paces the squad in assists with 56. Unique Thompson is averaging a double-double for the Tigers at 13.8 points per game and 11.9 rebounds per contest. Three others, Daisa Alexander (11.5 PPG), Emari Jones (11.2 PPG) and Crystal Primm (11.1 PPG) round out the double-figure scorers for Auburn.
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.
Elon opens CAA play after returning from its break for the holidays. The Phoenix travels to Northeastern on Friday, Jan. 4, for a matchup against the Huskies at 7 p.m.