Blake Sparks Elon Men’s Basketball Overtime Win Over Columbia

Posted by Press Release on December 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Kevin Blake gave the Elon University men’s basketball team the spark it needed on Sunday, Dec. 1, against Columbia, scoring a career-high 12 points in a 68-65 victory over the Lions inside Alumni Gym.

After sitting on the bench for the game’s first 25 minutes, Blake gave Elon (4-4) momentum against a pesky Columbia (4-4) squad that would not go quietly. The junior from Toronto, Ontario, scored 10 points in the final 13 minutes of regulation to keep the Phoenix alive, as the Lions managed to tie the game on a one-handed desperation three by Alex Rosenberg with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to send it to overtime.

In overtime, Blake hit two key free throws with 2:02 remaining to put Elon by two, 63-61, and the Phoenix never trailed from that point forward. Blake connected on 5-of-7 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line in 15 minutes of action.

Austin Hamilton scored a team-high 17 points in the win, while Lucas Troutman had an efficient day with 16 points, seven boards and five blocks.

“We’re very pleased to come out with the victory,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “Every game against Columbia has been a nail-biter over the last four years and this year was no different. Kevin Blake was sensational for us today. He was a huge lift off the bench, whether it was attacking the rim or getting offensive rebounds, and he defended well, too.”

The Phoenix began the game on a 15-0 run, holding Columbia without a field goal make until the 10:49 mark when Maodo Lo drove the basket for a layup to make it a 15-2 game.

The Lions narrowed Elon’s lead to five at intermission, as the maroon and gold carried a 29-25 lead into the locker room. The Phoenix defense stifled Columbia in the first half, holding the opposition to 36 percent shooting on 9-of-25 field goal attempts. Columbia ended the game shooting 42 percent from the field.

Blake pushed Elon out to a seven-point advantage with less than four minutes to play after slashing through the lane for a put-back following a Troutman missed jumper to give the Phoenix a 55-48 edge.

But the Lions roared back late in the second period and capitalized on missed free throws by Elon and Rosenberg’s desperation heave to send the game to overtime.
Columbia’s Lo connected from long distance with 14.1 seconds remaining to pull the Lions within one, 65-64, in overtime, but Tanner Samson hit both free throws to put his team ahead, 67-64.

Luke Petrasek missed a three-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded, giving Elon the overtime win.

All four meetings between Elon and Columbia have been decided by five points or less.

Elon returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. when it welcomes VMI to Alumni Gym.

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