Courtesy of North Carolina Central Athletics
DURHAM, N.C. — The North Carolina Central University women’s basketball team will try and conclude the first month of the season with a winning record at home when the Eagles host Elon University inside McDougald-McLendon Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.
GAME NOTES 7 vs. Elon
DATE: Sunday, Nov. 27, at 2 p.m.
LOCATION: McDougald-McLendon Arena, Durham, N.C.
WATCH: NCCU Sports Network
FOLLOW: Live Stats; @NCCUAthletics
NC CENTRAL BENCH:
The Eagles ended a four-game losing streak by doubling up North Carolina Wesleyan University, 82-41, on Tuesday. NC Central (2-4 Overall) is 2-1 at home.
Sophomore Aniya Finger recorded her second double-double in just her fourth collegiate game to highlight play in the maroon and gray victory. Finger scored a season-high 21 points against the Battling Bishops as she now leads NCCU with averages of 11.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Junior Kimeira Burks is close behind Finger with 10.3 points per game. Burks, who has made a team-best 14 three-pointers in six games at a 34.1 percent clip, is also supplying 3.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
NCCU’s top four scorers are all averaging within two points of each other with junior Blessing Okoh and freshman Jerni Kiaku netting 9.8 and 9.0 points per game, respectively. Okoh is second on the team with 5.3 rebounds per game while Kiaku is tied for the team lead in steals per game with junior Tippy Robertson (2.0 steals/game), who tops the Eagles with 3.2 assists per game.
The Eagles are a shot blocking team with four players averaging at least one block per contest, including Finger (1.3), Okoh (1.3), sophomore Nia Ford (1.2) and sophomore Sydney Avoletta (1.0). NCCU ranks 22nd nationally with 5.7 blocks per game.
NC Central will be playing Elon nearly one year after the two local programs that are located approximately 45 miles apart last met on Nov. 29, 2021, with the Phoenix winning at home by a 73-51 margin. The Eagles are 0-11 all-time against Elon. Ford, who is averaging 4.2 points per game this season, scored 11 points before fouling out against the Phoenix last season.
The Phoenix have rattled off three consecutive home wins to move over .500 on the season. Elon (3-2) is coming off a 71-68 comeback victory over Old Dominion University on Tuesday, but is 0-2 on the road (both of which were against “Power Five” programs from the ACC).
Elon also has a balanced offense with its top three scorers all averaging within one point of each other, including center Evonna McGill (10.8 PPG), guard Lenaejha Evans (10.4) and guard Raven Preston (10.0).
McGill, a Preseason All-CAA selection, is shooting 61-percent from the field to top that group. Evans leads the team in points from the free throw line, shooting 78.-9 percent from the charity stripe. Preston is coming off her first collegiate double-double with season-highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds against the Monarchs as she leads the Phoenix with 8.6 rebounds per game.
Freshman Kamryn Doty is next on the team with 7.4 points per game and she paces Elon with 2.2 assists per game.
Elon – picked fourth out of 13 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Poll, outshot NCCU 41.4% to 32.3% and outrebounded the Eagles 45-36 in last seasons’ 22-point victory. Junior Ajia James, who leads the Phoenix with five made-3pointers on the season, just missed a double-double in that contest with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.