UNCG hosts Elon at Fleming Gym on Monday
UNCG (3-18, 2-11 SoCon) vs. Elon (11-11, 7-6 SoCon), Feb. 6, 7 p.m., Fleming Gym
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• UNCG wraps up a brief two-game homestand Monday when it hosts rival Elon for a Southern Conference contest at Fleming Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
• The Spartans dropped their fifth straight contest Saturday, falling to Western Carolina, 46-35, in their annual Fight Like a Spartan contest. Neither side could get much going in the first half, with the Catamounts holding a 15-11 lead at the break. UNCG finally got its offense in gear in the second frame, using an 11-1 run to take a 34-32 lead on a Janae' Stevenson jumper with 6:08 left. WCU answered with a big run of its own, holding UNCG without a field goal the rest of the way and finishing the game on a 14-1 run to take the win.
• Stevenson pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds in the contest, with nine of them coming in the opening frame.
• Sophomore guard Breonna Patterson leads UNCG in scoring with 10.4 points per game and has hit at least one 3-pointer in a career-best seven straight games. Stevenson's big game on the boards Saturday lifted her into a tie for the team rebounding lead, as she and freshman Jarae Savage are both averaging 5.3 per contest. Stevenson is the Spartans' second-leading scorer at 8.4 points per game. Dayshaun Richbow leads the team with 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
• UNCG leads the series with Elon, 23-16, and has won three of the last five meetings. The Spartans are 14-4 against the Phoenix in Greensboro, with an impressive 9-2 mark against Elon at Fleming Gym. One of those Phoenix wins in Fleming came last season, however, with Elon nipping UNCG at the buzzer, 63-61.
• In this season's first meeting, on Jan. 23 in Elon, N.C., Elon used a 10-0 run midway through the second half to break open what had been a close game and took a 57-43 win. Patterson scored a game-high 14 points for the Spartans, while Savage pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds. Kelsey Evans and Aiesha Harper had 12 points each for the Phoenix, who also got 11 points from Kelsey Harris.
• In the last meeting between the teams in Greensboro, on Jan. 19, 2011, Elon's Ali Ford drove the lane and got a scoop layup to fall as the final horn sounded to lift the visiting Phoenix past UNCG, 63-61. With the game tied at 61 and the final seconds ticking down, UNCG had possession of the ball and a chance to hold on for the final shot. UNCG, was called for a travel, however, giving Elon the ball with six seconds left. The Phoenix put the ball into the hands of its leader and Ford didn't disappoint, rushing up the court and getting the shot off in the nick of time to give Elon the win.
• Elon has won five of its last seven games, all in SoCon play, to even its record at 11-11 on the season and move over .500 in league play at 7-6. The Phoenix's lone losses in that span were at Samford and Chattanooga. Elon crushed Furman on Saturday, 76-58.
• Ford scored 26 points and Evans added 20 as Elon topped Furman on Saturday in its annual Play4Kay game at the Phoenix's Alumni Gym. After the Paladins pulled within a point with just over 13 minutes to play, Elon answered with a 17-2 run to put the game out of reach.
• Ford, a junior, became Elon's all-time 3-point leader at Samford on Jan. 28. With five against Furman on Saturday, Ford's career total now stands at 245 triples in her career.
• Ford and Evans, both preseason All-SoCon picks this season, are Elon's leading scorers this year at 15.4 and 12.1 points per game, respectively, with Ford's mark good for second in the league. Evans leads the Phoenix in rebounding at 7.3 per game. Harper leads Elon with 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
• Ford leads the SoCon and is eighth nationally in 3-pointers per game with 3.1 per contest. Evans is second in the SoCon and 20th nationally in free throw percentage at 86.7 percent (52-for-60). Zora Stephenson leads the SoCon with a .443 3-point percentage (27-for-61). Harper leads the league with a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
• UNCG coach Wendy Palmer and Elon coach Charlotte Smith are quite familiar with each other. Palmer played at Virginia from 1992-96, while Smith was at North Carolina from 1991-95. Palmer was a two-time ACC Player of the Year, in 1995 and 1996, while Smith was ESPN's National Player of the Year in 1995. The two were also in the WNBA at the same time, with Palmer playing from 1997-2007 and Smith from 1999-2006. The two also coached against each other as assistants at their alma maters.
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