ELON, N.C. – After a 12-day layoff, the Elon University women’s basketball team opens Colonial Athletic Association play this Friday, Jan. 4, at Northeastern inside the Cabot Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The game will be streamed on the Northeastern Sports Network (NESN) at gonu.com. Fans can also listen to the game on WSOE 89.3 with Drew Gentry and Andrew Vendelis on the call. Other updates of the game between the Phoenix and the Huskies will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball.
Series History (Elon leads 7-1)
The Phoenix and the Huskies will begin their fifth season as league foes on Friday as Elon holds a 7-1 all-time advantage versus Northeastern since joining the CAA in 2014-15. Last season, Elon swept the Huskies during the regular season including a 65-46 victory in Boston in its most recent contest. Northeastern’s lone win in the series came in 2016 at Elon.
Last Time Out
Emily Maupin scored a team-best 14 points while Lexi Mercer added 11, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a hot-shooting Auburn team as Elon fell to the Tigers 96-44 in its last contest on Dec. 22. Auburn shot 63 percent from the game and was nearly 54 percent from three including a 63 percent clip in the second half. Maupin’s 14 points was the sixth double-digit scoring output of the regular season for the sophomore.
• Since joining the CAA in 2014-15, Elon is 4-0 in its league openers. Overall, the Phoenix is 52-20 in the CAA all-time.
• Friday’s game will feature two of the top-three scoring teams in the CAA. Northeastern is second in the league in scoring offense at 68.1 points per game while Elon is just behind at third at 67.9. College of Charleston paces the CAA at 68.3 points per contest.
• Elon currently has four active players averaging seven points or more with three of the four in their first or second year of collegiate basketball. Maupin leads the team with 11.7 points per game followed by Mercer, the lone active upperclassman for the Phoenix, at 11.1. Ariel Colón rounds out the double-digit scorers at 10.5 points per game.
• Rookie Brie Perpignan leads the team in field goal percentage at .517 (31-of-60), which would rank tops in the league if she took enough shots to qualify. Maupin is second in the CAA in field goal percentage at .500 percent. Perpignan is also the top assist person for the Phoenix at 2.6 per game.
• Maupin and Colón leads the Phoenix in rebounding at 6.5 boards per contest. Colón is currently second overall in the CAA in double-doubles with three this season.
• The Phoenix won its 299th game as a program at the Division I level versus North Carolina A&T on Dec. 18. It was also the 1,300th game for the team all time. The win was also the 144th career victory for Phoenix head coach Charlotte Smith.
• 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 Northeastern (10-1)
Northeastern enters Friday’s CAA opener with a 10-1 overall record. The Huskies opened the season with a program-best 9-0 record before suffering its lone setback versus Marist on Dec. 18, 90-84. Northeastern rebounded with a 63-55 victory versus Maine in its most recent contest on Dec. 22. In its most recent poll, the Huskies sat 13th in the College Insider Mid-Major poll.
Senior guard Jess Genco leads the Huskies at 17.7 points per game, which is fourth overall in the league. The Scranton, Pa., native was named the CAA Player of the Week on Nov. 19, and was a Preseason All-CAA first team selection. Genco also leads the CAA in free throw percentage at .931 percent and three-pointers made with 36.
No other Northeastern player currently averages double digits, although three are close with Shannon Todd (9.8 PPG), Stella Clark (9.7 PPG) and Gabby Giacone (9.6 PPG). Clark is fourth in the CAA in three-point percentage at .415 percent while forward Ayannan Dublin leads the league in overall field goal percentage at .508. She also leads the Huskies in rebounding at 6.6 boards 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.
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 continues its road swing in the northeast with a trip to Hofstra on Sunday, Jan. 6. That game is scheduled for 2 p.m.