Isenbarger’s Late Game Heroics Lift Elon Men’s Basketball Phoenix to Victory

Posted by Press Release on February 9, 2014 at 7:28 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The legend of Jack Isenbarger continued to grow on Saturday night in Alumni Gym, as the senior’s 30-footer with less than a second to play gave Elon a 60-59 win over Georgia Southern.

With 9.8 seconds left, Isenbarger initially slipped out of bounds in the corner on Elon’s inbound pass by Ryley Beaumont, but the Phoenix managed to get the ball ahead without its point guard pushing the ball up the court. Isenbarger regrouped and took the ball near the top of the key with time ticking away, finding an open look from well behind the three-point line in large part due to a great screen by Ryan Winters.

Alumni Gym turned from dead silent to a thunderous eruption as the shot went in with 0.2 seconds left on the clock, giving the Phoenix a one-point lead.

After the officials put 0.7 seconds left on the clock after a quick meeting, Jelani Hewitt’s heave from near half court missed as the buzzer sounded, as Elon escaped with the win, its fourth in a row.

“Every basketball player dreams of taking those shots as a little kid,” Isenbarger said. “Any basketball player at this level wants the ball in his hands and my teammates were able to get me open.”

“I had confidence in Jack and we like to just let it go in that situation,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “I felt like our guys would know what to do and they setup Jack with a great screen. Our guys didn’t panic and Jack made a big shot. He’s a gutsy player and a special person.”

Isenbarger finished with 10 points, while Beaumont ended with 14 points and 13 boards for his seventh career double-double.

The Phoenix shot an uncharacteristic 33 percent from the field, going 7-of-33 from long distance. Elon went 0-of-12 from three for the first 18 minutes of the second half until a Samson triple broke the streak with 2:10 to play to limit the Eagles to a three-point lead.

Elon trailed by as many as eight in the second period, but closed the final 2:10 on a 9-2 run to escape with the victory and snatch the win away from the Eagles.

The Phoenix performed well on the defensive side of the ball, holding GSU to 38 percent shooting from the field.

With the win, Elon improves to 14-11 overall and 7-3 in Southern Conference play. Georgia Southern drops to 11-14 (4-6 Southern Conference) with the setback.

Elon returns to action on Wednesday night, Feb. 12, at Furman.

Comments are closed.