ELON, N.C. — The second-seeded Elon men’s basketball team will head to Asheville, N.C., later this week for the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament. By virtue of being one of the top two seeds in the North Division, the Phoenix earned a bye and will challenge the winner of (3S) Georgia Southern and (6N) Chattanooga in the quarterfinals. Elon will open conference tournament play on Saturday, March 3 at 8:30 p.m. in the U.S. Cellular Center.
Prior to the game, Elon fans can gather at Scully’s bar and grille in downtown Asheville. The maroon and gold contingent will gear up for the game beginning at 6:30 p.m. Scully’s is within walking distance of the U.S. Cellular Center. Please contact the Phoenix Club at 336-278-6800 with any questions about the event. For tickets to the Southern Conference Tournament, please call the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750.
The first and only other time the Phoenix has had a first-round bye in the SoCon Tournament was in 2005-06 when Elon won the North Division title.
Site: Asheville, N.C.
Arena: U.S. Cellular Center
Radio: WPCM 920 AM — Taylor Durham and Dick Stewart will call the action
• Elon is 7-1 in its first game of the Southern Conference Tournament; all but one of those contests have been first-round games.
• Elon will be competing as the No. 2 seed in the North Division for the first time in history.
• Teams that earn a bye have a much higher chance of winning the title as no team has ever won four games to win the tournament crown under the current format.
• Since the SoCon moved to divisional play in 1994-95, only four teams have reached the championship game without being a No. 1 or 2 seed. Furman did it in 2002, College of Charleston in 2007, Elon in 2008 and College of Charleston in 2009.
• Elon and Chattanooga have met only once in the conference tournament with the Phoenix coming away with a 60-57 win in the quarterfinals of the 2007-08 tourney. Elon and Georgia Southern have never faced off in the postseason.
• Only seven players on the current Elon roster have played in a SoCon Tournament game and five of them saw their first action last season.
• The Phoenix has reached the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament only twice in its eight-year history. Elon won in the quarterfinals in 2005-06 and 2007-08.
• Elon’s nine SoCon victories are the most during the Matt Matheny era and most since a nine-win campaign in 2007-08.
• The Phoenix ended a five-game skid and closed the regular season with a big 93-79 win over North Division champs UNCG on Saturday, February 25.
• Forward Ryley Beaumont has offered an offensive spark for the Phoenix as of late. He has scored in double figures nine times this season with five of those coming in the last seven contests. Beaumont is averaging 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds over the last seven games.
• With another six three-pointers against UNCG, sophomore Jack Isenbarger is now tied for fourth place on Elon’s single-season three-pointer list with 70. The single-season record at Elon is 82, set by Matt Nowlin in 2003-04.
• Over the last 13 games, Isenbarger is averaging 19.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 4.0 apg. He is shooting 49.7 percent and has hit 47 triples.
• Road wins have been hard to come by for the Phoenix this season. Elon is 4-11 away from the friendly confines of Alumni Gym, but has yet to play a neutral site game this year. Elon’s last win away from home was a 71-63 victory at Western Carolina on January 26.
• Elon has been struggling on the defensive end of the floor as of late — Phoenix opponents have shot 40 percent or better in 12 of the last 14 contests and in all but two of the 15 losses.
• Elon is 11-4 when scoring 70 or more points and 3-10 when scoring 69 or less points.
• With 87 career blocks, Lucas Troutman is in sixth place all-time at Elon. He has 40 blocks on the year and is one away from breaking into the school’s single-season list.
• The Phoenix has shot better than its opponent in 12 of its 14 wins this year.
LAST TIME OUT
• Elon jumped on top 21-2 and never looked back in a 93-79 victory over UNCG. The Phoenix swept the season series with the North Division champions, never trailing in last Saturday’s contest.
• The Phoenix hit 10-of-20 three-pointers and got to the line 39 times. Elon had four players in double figures, led by sophomore Jack Isebarger’s 24 points.
• Sebastian Koch had a career-best 12 boards and Ryley Beaumont registered a personal-best 20 points.
• Elon split the season series with Chattanooga — each team got the win on its home court.
• The Phoenix led Georgia Southern by as many as 14 points in the second half, but suffered a 69-63 defeat to the Eagles in Alumni Gym on January 5.
• Elon is 3-3 versus Chattanooga and 2-2 against Georgia Southern during the Matt Matheny era.