Elon MBB Wraps Up Cancun Challenge at Miami Ohio

Posted by Press Release on November 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team concludes play in the Cancun Challenge on Sunday, Nov. 30, when it travels to Oxford, Ohio, to face the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. Tip is set for 1 p.m. at Millett Hall. Listen to the game live on WPCM 95.1 FM/920 AM with Taylor Durham on the call, as pre-game coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. from courtside.

ELON VS. MIAMI: Sunday marks the first meeting between the Phoenix and RedHawks.

ELON VS. MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE: Elon is 1-4 all-time against members of the MAC. Elon is 1-2 against Buffalo and 0-1 versus both Ball State and Ohio. Elon’s last game against a member of the MAC was Dec. 29, 2009, at Ohio when the Phoenix fell to the Bobcats, 71-59.

OHIO THREADS: Elon has three players from Ohio on its roster – Sam Hershberger (Vandalia), Jack Anton (Mason) and Tony Sabato (Cincinnati). Hershberger attended high school at Butler High School, which is just north of Dayton. Anton and Sabato are both products of Archbishop Moeller High School in the Cincinnati area. The duo was high school teammates with Miami freshman Tre Hawkins.

LOOKING BACK: Elon went 1-1 in Cancun, Mexico, last week, topping Morgan State, 74-73, before falling to North Florida, 72-65. The Phoenix rallied from 19 points down against MSU on Nov. 25, as Luke Eddy scored the game-winner with 6.8 seconds left on the clock to give the Phoenix the one-point victory. Eddy and teammate Elijah Bryant were named to the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division All-Tournament Team.

LOOKING AHEAD: Elon returns to the friendly confines of Alumni Gym for back-to-back home games following its trip to Oxford. The Phoenix hosts Virginia Lynchburg on Dec. 2 before welcoming in Central Penn on Dec. 7.

BRYANT HONORED: Phoenix freshman Elijah Bryant was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Nov. 24 after scoring 16 points and grabbing six boards in an overtime loss at Northwestern on Nov. 22. Bryant’s 13.6 points per game average is the best among CAA rookies so far this season.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Elon currently leads the CAA in turnover margin at +2.4. Elon is forcing the opposition into 15.8 turnovers per game while turning the ball over 13.4 times per game.

RARE COMPANY: Tanner Samson’s eight triples against Northwestern are tied for the second most in a single game since Elon made the transition to the Division I ranks. Matt Nowlin hit eight threes against UNCG on Feb. 7, 2004, while Drew Spradlin knocked down eight against Chattanooga on Jan. 23, 2010. Sebastian Koch hit eight triples last season against Central Penn. Sebastian Koch holds the Elon single-game record with nine threes in last year’s setback at 21st-ranked Colorado.

BEYOND THE ARC: With five threes in his last two games, Tanner Samson now sits at 157 in his career (ninth in school history). Samson needs seven triples to pass TJ Douglas for eighth in school history. Jack Isenbarger ’14 ranks first in school history in career threes made with 264. Samson entered this season third all-time in Elon history in career three-point field goal percentage at 39.4 percent, trailing only Sebastian Koch (40.3%) and Steve Page (46.4%). Samson currently leads the CAA in made three-pointers with 18.

ANOTHER ELITE TOURNAMENT: Elon is participating in one of the nation’s top tournaments again this season with the Cancun Challenge. Elon faced Morgan State and North Florida in Mexico last week. Elon’s games at Northwestern (Nov. 22) and Miami (Nov. 30) are also a part of the Cancun Challenge. Last season, the Phoenix competed in the NIT Season Tip-Off. In 2012-13, Elon was selected to participate in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational.

HOME SLATE: Phoenix fans have only five chances to see men’s basketball action in Alumni Gym before the end of the calendar year. Following Sunday’s game against Charlotte, Elon has just three remaining home games in 2014 – Virginia University of Lynchburg (Dec. 2), Central Pennsylvania (Dec. 7) and Marist (Dec. 28).

NEW LOOKS: The 2014-15 season marks one of newness for the maroon and gold. Elon begins its inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association this year. The Phoenix welcomes in five newcomers to the squad this year following the departure of four 1,000-point scorers in Jack Isenbarger, Lucas Troutman, Ryley Beaumont and Sebastian Koch. Elon will also don new uniforms this season.

PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS: The CAA released its preseason men’s basketball poll on Oct. 21, as the league’s head coaches predicted the Phoenix to finish 10th in the league. Northeastern was picked as the preseason favorite while William & Mary’s Marcus Thornton earned nods as the preseason player of the year.

LEAGUE FIRST: Elon’s 64-58 victory over Florida Atlantic on Nov. 14 marked the first win of the 2014-15 season for the Colonial Athletic Association. Hofstra and College of Charleston also claimed wins on opening night for the CAA.

ELON ON THE BIG SCREEN: Elon will appear on television eight times this season, including four occasions in Alumni Gym. American Sports Network (ASN) will carry Elon’s home games against Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, William & Mary and Hofstra, in addition to road games at James Madison and Delaware. Elon’s game at Missouri on Dec. 11 will be broadcasted live on the SEC Network, while the Phoenix’s Dec. 15 matchup in Cameron Indoor Stadium vs. Duke will be carried on ESPNU.

A LOOK AT ELON: The Phoenix is coming off an 18-14 campaign in the Southern Conference under sixth-year head coach Matt Matheny. Elon welcomes back starters Austin Hamilton (6.2 ppg, 2.5 apg) and Tanner Samson (9.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg), while returning a total of 10 non-starters. Senior guard Kevin Blake (4.7 ppg) and senior forward Ryan Winters (3.0 ppg) join Hamilton to make up this year’s senior class. The Phoenix graduated one of the most decorated classes in school history, as four 1,000-point scorers depart in Lucas Troutman, Jack Isenbarger, Sebastian Koch and Ryley Beaumont. The team welcomes five newcomers to the squad this season, including Jack Anton (Fr., F, 6-8, 230, Cincinnati, Ohio), Elijah Bryant (Fr., G, 6-4, 225, Gwinnett, Ga.), Collin Luther (Fr., F, 6-6, 210, Pittsburgh, Pa.), Dmitri Thompson (Fr., G, 6-4, 195, Orlando, Fla.) and Jack George (Fr., F, 6-10, 210, Libertyville, Ill.).

HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: The 2014-15 season marks the sixth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters Sunday with a career record of 79-85. Matheny was voted by the Southern Conference media as the Coach of the Year and was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham award in 2012-13, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.

ROAD TO BALTIMORE: The 2015 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship is scheduled for March 6-9 in Baltimore, Md., at Royal Farms Arena. Last year, Delaware topped William & Mary, 75-74, in the championship game to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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