ELON, N.C. – The Elon University women’s basketball team continues its two-game road swing to open Colonial Athletic Association play with a trip to Hofstra on Sunday, Jan. 6. The Phoenix and the Pride are scheduled to tip-off at 1 p.m. inside the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.
The game will be streamed via Pride Productions at gohofstra.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 Pride will be provided on Twitter at the handle @ElonWBasketball.
Series History (Elon leads 7-2)
Sunday’s matinee will be the 10th all-time meeting between Elon and Hofstra with each of those contests coming as foes in the CAA since 2015. The Phoenix holds a 7-2 advantage in the series and has won five straight versus the Pride including an 80-55 victory in the most recent meeting last season in Elon. Hofstra’s last win in the series came in 2016 with a 59-49 victory on its home floor.
Last Time Out
The Phoenix opened the CAA season on Friday, Jan. 4, at Northeastern where Elon fell to the Huskies 79-71. The maroon and gold was down by as many as 20 points in the final period, but battled to trim its deficit to single digits however saw its comeback fall ultimately short. Lexi Mercer led the Phoenix with 17 points while freshman Kayla Liles posted her first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, both season-highs for the Owings Mills, Md., native. Emily Maupin also added 11 in the contest for Elon.
• The Phoenix has been one of the top scoring offenses in the CAA this season and currently ranks second in the league at 68.2 points per game.
• While Elon has allowed opponents to score 72.2 points per contest against them, the Phoenix is only allowing 65 points per game versus non power-five conference opponents. Versus those opponents, Elon is putting up 71 points per game.
• 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 11.6. Ariel Colón rounds out the double-digit scorers at 10.1 points per game.
• Liles posted her third double-digit scoring output of the season with her career-high 15 points at Northeastern. She also became the fourth player this season for Elon to have posted a double-double along with Colón, Maupin and Brie Perpignan.
• Maupin leads the Phoenix in rebounding at 6.7 boards per contest. Colón is currently second at 6.1 boards per contest and is also second in the CAA in double-doubles with three this season.
• Sophomore guard Saadia Munford made her first start of the season against the Huskies on Friday. The Atlanta, Ga., native had a season-best eight assists in the contest and scored seven points.
• 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 Hofstra (6-7, 0-1 CAA)
Hofstra opened CAA play last Friday, hosting William & Mary. The Pride erased an overall deficit of 15 points and eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Tribe closed the game on a 10-3 run to earn a 60-55 victory. The setback snapped Hofstra’s three-game winning streak and set its record to 6-7 on the season.
The Pride are averaging 60.8 points per game while allowing the opposition to score 62.6 PPG. Hofstra is shooting .394 percent from the floor and is one of the better teams in the CAA in defending the three-pointer with opposing teams shooting only .270 percent. Senior guard Boogie Brozoski paces the Pride in scoring at 15.0 points per game, good for seventh overall in the league. The Cambria Heights, N.Y., native was a 2018-19 Preseason All-CAA choice and scored 17 points versus William & Mary on Friday.
Sica Cuzic is the only other Hofstra player scoring in double figures for the Pride at 11.6 points per game. She is also the team’s top rebounder pulling down 7.5 rebounds per contest and leads the CAA in double-doubles with four. Another player to watch is junior Ana Hernandez Gil, who along with Brozoski is ranked in the the top-10 of the league in three-pointers per game, as the duo combines for over 12 points from beyond the arc.
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 is back at home to host College of Charleston in its CAA home-opener at Schar Center on Friday, Jan. 11. The Phoenix and the Cougars are scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m.