The defending Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champions were wire-to-wire winners on Friday when the Elon University women’s basketball team faced off against the Winthrop University Eagles in its final home opener inside Alumni Gym on Friday.
After beginning the game with a 12-3 run, the Phoenix never looked back, blowing out the Eagles 98-37. The 61-point victory is the most since the Phoenix defeated College of Charleston by 52 in November 2011. Elon has now won its home opener 10 years in a row.
Sophomore center Ra'Shika White had a strong opening for the Phoenix, collecting 10 points and one rebound in the first quarter, as the Phoenix took a 24-6 lead into the first break.
“As long as I continue to play the way I’m playing, then we should be able to go far...playing as a team," White said.
The old adage goes that “defense wins championships” and the women's basketball team seems to be living by that motto. The Phoenix defense was stifling, conceding just 16 points in the first half, taking a 45-16 lead into halftime.
Head coach Charlotte Smith, although pleased with the team’s overall performance, said there is always room to improve.
“I could take a game like this and pick it apart and probably find a hundred teaching clips," she said. "I’m just incredibly proud of our team meeting our defensive goals, especially in the second half."
It wasn’t just the defense that made a statement. As the score indicated, the offense was firing on all cylinders for the Phoenix as well. Elon put up 98 points with seeming ease, shooting 54 percent from the field and finishing with a +43 rebound margin.
When asked how the Phoenix can continue its hot streak, Coach Smith took a simple line out of the Philadelphia 76ers book.
“Trust the process," she said.
The Phoenix will play its next game on the road against North Carolina A&T on Monday Nov. 13 before returning home to Alumni Gym at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17th to take on Hampton University.