CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team captured its fifth straight win on Saturday, Jan. 26, after topping The Citadel Bulldogs, 70-66, inside McAlister Field House.
Elon (13-7, 6-2 Southern Conference) registered 32 three-point attempts in the victory over The Citadel (4-15, 1-8 Southern Conference), connecting on 12. In its last two games, the Phoenix has hit 25 shots from beyond the arc.
“Today was a tough and gutsy win by our guys,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “They zoned us from the start, which not many teams do because of our perimeter shooters, but that’s something [The Citadel] has had success with. Our guys handled our zone offense very well and I thought we took the right shots when the opportunity presented itself.”
Elon’s three-point attack was led by Tanner Samson, as the rookie knocked down 5-of-12 from long distance to finish with a season-high 15 points. Samson also had four steals in the win, tying his season-best mark.
Two nights after scoring his 1,000th-career point, Jack Isenbarger finished the day with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. Isenbarger knocked down 4-of-11 from beyond the arc, bringing his career three-pointers-made total to 191. He needs eight more triples to tie Chris Chalko for third all-time in school history. Isenbarger also dished out eight assists, tying his career high.
Lucas Troutman scored in double figures for the 19th straight game, as the junior from Belton, S.C., finished with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Troutman heads into Elon’s next game with 976 career points.
Sebastian Koch added nine points 3-of-7 shooting from long-distance to go along with six boards.
Back-to-back triples from the wing by Samson forced the Bulldogs to call a timeout with 4:27 on the clock in the first period, as the Phoenix jumped out a 29-22 advantage. Samson scored 12 points in the first half, helping Elon lead by as many as 10 points.
The Citadel’s Marshall Harris III struck gold as the halftime buzzer rang through the arena, hitting a desperation heave from half court to limit Elon to a 38-33 lead at intermission.
The Bulldogs’ zone defense led to a barrage of three-pointers for the Phoenix in the opening frame, as Elon went 7-of-18 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes. Elon shot 47 percent from the field in the opening frame, but the Bulldogs matched it with a 50-percent clip on 12-of-24 shooting from the field.
The Bulldogs nearly tied the game with 14:12 left in the second half on a fast-break by Harris III, but the sophomore missed the contested layup and on the ensuing possession, Samson connected on his fifth triple of the game to give Elon a 47-42 edge.
Isenbarger helped Elon take an eight-point lead and force a Bulldogs timeout with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second session after driving through the lane and tossing up a layup off the glass as he fell to the ground, giving the Phoenix a 56-48 edge.
The Citadel managed to pull within four points with about five minutes remaining in the game and equaled that amount in the final seconds on a three-pointer in the corner by Horgan as the clock ran out.
Van Scyoc and Mike Groselle both dumped in a team-high 20 points for the Bulldogs.
Elon returns to action on Thursday night, Jan. 31, when it heads to the Greensboro Coliseum to face cross-town rival UNCG. Tip is set for 7 p.m.