Alumni Gym was crowded as the Elon University women’s basketball team took the floor against the Delaware University Blue Hens. The game marked the final home game of the season for the Phoenix. It also marked the last home game ever for this year’s senior class.
Seniors Zora Stephenson, Sam Coffer and Shannen Cochraham came onto the floor to thunderous applause from the crowd. The night was capped off with an overtime victory, securing the Phoenix No. 4 seed in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
“The wins and the losses, the running, the practices, the games, all of it has impacted me in some way, and to go out with a win is awesome,” Stephenson said. “I love this place, I love this school, I love this team. Elon will always be in my heart.”
Stephenson, a guard from Vienna, Virginia, has been a stronghold for the Phoenix during her time on the team. As a freshman during the 2011 to 2012 season, she made 42.3 percent of her shots beyond the arc, a new single-season record at Elon.
As a sophomore, she made a total of 46 shots beyond the arc, the eighth most in the Southern Conference. Fans and opponents know her best for her devastating 3-pointer that allows her to take control of games. Against College of Charleston this year, she made seven triples and finished the game with 27 points.
Coffer, a Greensboro native, plays both guard and forward and has been a factor since day one for the Phoenix. She played in all 30 games as a freshman and started 26.
As a junior, she led the team with 6.3 rebounds a game and 42 blocks in the season, and was named to the All-Southern Conference team. Coffer is known for her offensive prowess, too, scoring 19 points against College of Charleston this year, as well as a 16-point effort against the College of William & Mary in which she made all of her shots from the floor.
“I have a wonderful group of seniors,” said head coach Charlotte Smith. “I’m proud for everything they’ve done for the program over the last four years.”
Cochraham, from Alexandria, Virginia, has played in 26 games this season. At 6 feet 3 inches, she gives the Phoenix a force in the paint.
She is known for her rebounding, averaging 3.4 boards per game as a junior. She is also known for offensive efficiency. Against Hofstra University, she had eight points after only playing 18 minutes. She scored 80 points this season and shot 55 percent from the field, adding yet another offensive weapon for Elon.
With the CAA Tournament starting March 12 against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the seniors relished the time they have spent in front of their home crowd. When asked about going to overtime, Stephenson grinned.
“We just wanted to play a little more,” she said. “Some senior nights are blowouts, some are overtime close like this. I’m just glad we won.”