Elon Men’s Basketball Tops UNCG for 20th Win of the Season

Posted by Press Release on March 3, 2013 at 7:50 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team caught fire in the second half to close out the regular season in impressive fashion Saturday, March 2, with an 80-66 decision over the UNCG Spartans in front of another sellout crowd on Senior Night inside Alumni Gym.

Elon (20-10, 13-5 Southern Conference) shot 65 percent in the final 20 minutes, going 17-of-26 from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.

With the win, the program has reached the 20-win plateau for only the 15th time in school history and the first time since the 1987-88 season. Matt Matheny becomes only the fifth head coach in Elon history to lead a team to 20 victories in a season.

“I liked the way our leaders and veteran players stepped up tonight,” said Matheny. “When players make positive adjustments, it really makes a big difference and it was that way tonight. When I walked in the locker room at halftime I could hear our players talking to each other. On their way out to the court, they were ready to lead one another and they did.”

Lucas Troutman led four Elon players in double figures with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. The junior forward has scored in double figures 25 times this season.

Ryley Beaumont just missed his fifth double-double of the season, as the junior from Millersville, Md., finished with 14 points and nine boards. Sebastian Koch and Tanner Samson chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the winning effort.

Following a UNCG technical foul, the Phoenix took a five-point lead with les than five minutes remaining in the opening frame after a pair of Tanner Samson free throws made it a 21-16 game.

At the half, Elon led 29-28 after a big dunk by Troutman with less than 30 seconds left forced a Spartans timeout and put the maroon and gold faithful on its feet. Troutman led all players with 13 first-half points, as Elon shot 45 percent from the field. The Spartans connected on 46 percent on 11-of-24 field goal attempts in the first 20 minutes.

Troutman pushed the Phoenix out to an eight-point lead and forced another Spartans timeout after hitting a long jumper from the top of the key with 17:48 to play to give his squad a 36-28 advantage. But a 9-2 run quickly pulled the Spartans back within one, 38-37, with less than a minute later.

Kevin Blake gave Elon a 10-point lead with 6:00 to play after connecting on a jumper near the basket to put his team ahead, 67-56.

Elon kept the Spartans at arm’s length from that point forward, going ahead by as many as 18 points to secure the win, its seventh straight over UNCG.

The Phoenix opens the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament on Saturday, March 9, at 6 p.m. as the No. 2 seed. Elon will play the winner of (10) UNCG vs. (7) Chattanooga.

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