Lady Camels finish tough stretch Friday at Elon

Summer Leverette (
Summer Leverette (

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell ends a period of three non-conference games in five days on Friday at Elon with the tip at Alumni Gym set for 7 p.m. The battle against the Phoenix is the final preparation for the Lady Camels before focusing on Big South play.

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Campbell extended its winning streak to four games on Dec. 18 with a 64-47 victory over UVA-Wise at Gore Arena. Sophomore guard Summer Leverette (Turkey, N.C.) became the sixth different Lady Camel to pace the team in scoring.

"We don't just look towards one person to be our main scorer," said Leverette after the game. "We have a lot of people on this team that can score and on any given night any player can be on for us."

An all-around performance was registered by junior guard Kiera Gaines (Mechanicsville, Va.) with a career-high 18 rebounds, 11 points and seven assists against the Cavaliers. It was the first 18-plus rebound performance for Campbell since Ashley Williamson tied that number vs. Cocker (11/15/08).

The Lady Camels continued to show balance in scoring as senior guard Jessica Moore (Jacksboro, Tenn.) tallied nine points and eight points were scored by senior forward Ashley James (Round Rock, Texas) and junior guard D Janelle Brown (Oklahoma City, Okla.).

"We needed that lift from the bench," said head coach Wanda Watkins. "I thought that when we went with D Brown in the second half, we got a good burst of energy and a lift when she was on the floor. When Summer (Leverette) came in the first half, she played with a lot of intensity and made some really nice passes. All of that continued for her in the second half"

When Campbell has outrebounded its opponent, it has tallied a 6-0 mark, which included a decisive 55-35 advantage vs. the Cavaliers. Gaines grabbed eight of the team's 21 offensive rebounds.

The fifth 20-or-more assist game was recorded vs. UVA-Wise as Campbell distributed the basketball throughout the contest.

The Lady Camels have drained 54 three-point field goals at a 36.4 rate, pacing the Big South in both categories. The squad is also atop the league rankings in scoring margin (+10.1), FG pct. defense (.345), assists (17.11) and assist/turnover ratio (0.97).

Freshman forward Amanda Coffer (Summerfield, N.C.) will face her sister Sam Coffer, who is a junior forward at Elon. The two sisters played as teammates at Northern Guilford High School.

In the all-time series against Elon, the Lady Camels have an 18-9 advantage. After the Phoenix won the first four meetings, the Lady Camels took 16 of the next 18 matchups from 1977 to 2000, including 14 wins in a row. Elon has taken three of the past five meetings, but Campbell has won the past two 89-88 at Alumni Gym in 2011 and 79-69 last year at Gore Arena.

Elon enters with a 3-6 overall record, securing victories over Winston-Salem St. (73-68), UNCW (75-64) and Samford (71-61). The Phoenix have fallen to VCU (76-93), East Carolina (84-93), Vanderbilt (66-88), Mercer (56-68), N.C. State (51-91) and Chattanooga (43-66).

The leading scorers for the Phoenix are Zora Stephenson with 13.3 points and Kelsey Harris with 12.7 points per game. Sam Coffer paces Elon on the boards by grabbing 7.0 rebounds per contest. Harris additionally paces the Phoenix in assists (38) and steals (13).

The team has compiled a .414 overall and .394 three-point shooting pct., but has been out-rebounded by a 4.7 margin. Head coach Charlotte Smith is in her third season at the helm of the Phoenix program.

After an seven-day break for the holidays, Campbell resumes league action on Dec. 28 at Liberty with the start set for 2 p.m. A 7 p.m. tip at Longwood on Dec. 30 finishes a three-game road trip before the Lady Camels open the new year on Jan. 4 against in-state foe High Point at 1 p.m. inside Gore Arena/John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center.