ELON, N.C. — The Elon men’s basketball team will host its final non-conference opponent of the year when the Columbia Lions come to town on Sunday, January 8 for a 2 p.m. showdown on Robertson Court in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix and Lions are meeting for only the second time in history and will aim to match the excitement of last year’s meeting when Elon’s Chris Long drained a buzzer-beater to give the Phoenix a 70-69 victory. Elon is offering a Family Four Pack of tickets that includes four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for only $30.
Site: Elon, N.C.
Arena: Alumni Gym
Series: Elon leads, 1-0
Radio: WPCM 920 AM — Taylor Durham and Dick Stewart will call the action
• Columbia is Elon’s final non-conference opponent of the year — the Phoenix is 5-5 against non-league opponents this year.
• Elon is averaging eight made three-pointers a game in the last four contests — but the Phoenix is shooting only 29.4 percent from beyond the arc in those games.
• A typically strong defensive team, Elon opponents are shooting 46.5 percent over the last four games while the Phoenix has only connected on 32.7 percent from the field.
• It has been a tale of two halves as of late for the Phoenix — Elon opponents are hitting 40.6 percent of their shots in the first half and 53.9 percent of their shots in the second half over the last four games.
• Lucas Troutman moved into Elon’s all-time career blocks list with two swats against South Carolina. He is averaging 1.6 bpg, second in the league. The sophomore now has 68 blocks in just over a year of action and is in seventh place all-time at Elon.
• Elon has held opponents to under 40 percent shooting in each one of its wins this year — but opponents have shot above 40 percent in all but one of the six losses. The Phoenix ranks second in the SoCon in field goal percentage defense (.395). Opponents are shooting only 29.2 percent from three-point territory — a stat that ranks second only to Georgia Southern in the SoCon.
• The Phoenix has shot better than its opponent in all seven wins this year but been outrebounded in all but two of those victories.
LAST TIME OUT
• Georgia Southern erased a 14-point deficit to hand Elon its first Southern Conference loss of the season on Thursday night.
• The Phoenix held the Eagles to 23.5 percent shooting in the first half but Georgia Southern shot a blistering 59.3 percent in the second half to earn the victory.
• Elon shot under 30 percent from three-point land for the third straight contest.
• Jack Isenbarger came off the bench for 17 points to lead all Phoenix scorers.
ELON VS. COLUMBIA
• Elon’s lone meeting with Columbia was a memorable one as Chris Long hit a fade-away jumper with 0.1 seconds on the clock to give the Phoenix a 70-69 victory over the host Lions last season. Long had a game-high 22 points and scored 11 of Elon’s final 13 points to help hand Columbia its first home loss of the year.
• This will be Columbia’s second SoCon opponent of the season having lost to Furman, 62-58, in mid-November.