CANCUN, Mexico – The Elon University men’s basketball team dropped a 72-65 decision to North Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 26, in the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division Championship at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya Hotel in Cancun, Mexico.
Elijah Bryant and Luke Eddy were named to the Cancun Challenge All-Tournament team for their efforts, as the duo finished with 10 and 14 points, respectively.
The Phoenix drops to 2-3 on the young season with the setback. UNF improves to 3-3.
“We’re disappointed with the outcome today after having the chance to win a championship down here in Cancun,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “I thought we were tough and fought against a talented North Florida team, but we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to come out with a victory.”
After Tanner Samson’s three-pointer with 5:10 remaining in the game knotted it at 60-all, the Ospreys held Elon to just two field goal makes over the remainder of the game and finished on a 12-2 run on the shoulders of the Mayan Division MVP, Dallas Moore. Moore’s three-ball with 30 seconds to play put UNF ahead by six, 69-63, and gave his squad momentum down the stretch. Moore scored a game-high 21 points.
Down by as many as 10 points in the first half, the Phoenix cut UNF’s lead to three at the break, as a corner three by Eddy made it a 33-30 game. After trailing 25-15 at the under-eight media timeout, the Phoenix closed the half on a 15-8 run.
Elon shot 38 percent from the field in the first half on 11-of-30 field goal attempts, knocking down 2-of-8 from deep. The Ospreys went 13-of-31 (42 percent) from the field, including a 3-of-14 clip from deep.
The Phoenix surged out of the locker room, taking a 43-40 lead at the 15:22 mark to gain momentum.
Minutes later, Jack Anton connected from deep to put the Elon fans in Cancun on their feet, as the Phoenix took a five-point lead, 43-38, with 15:49 to play. But the Ospreys answered quickly with a 7-0 run to take a 45-43 lead with 14:08 left.
Today’s game saw a total of 10 lead changes and was tied on seven occasions.
Elon concludes play in the Cancun Challenge on Sunday, Nov. 30, in Oxford, Ohio, when the Phoenix faces the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. Tip is slated for 1 p.m. at Millett Hall.