ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team plays its first of four straight road games on Thursday night, Dec. 11, with a trip to Missouri. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. (EST) at Mizzou Arena. The game will be broadcasted live on the SEC Network. Fans can listen to the game on WPCM 95.1 FM/920 AM with Taylor Durham and John Roddey on the call from courtside, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (EST).
ELON VS. MIZZOU: Thursday marks the first meeting between the Phoenix and Tigers.
ELON VS. THE SEC: Thursday marks Elon’s ninth game against a member of the SEC. The Phoenix holds a 2-6 mark against current members of the SEC. Elon’s record against SEC foes is as follows: Arkansas (0-1), Georgia (0-1), South Carolina (2-2), Tennessee (0-1), Vanderbilt (0-1). Elon has come away victorious in its last two games versus the SEC. The Phoenix topped South Carolina, 65-53, on Nov. 21, 2012, in Columbia, S.C., after claiming a 58-53 decision over the Gamecocks on Nov. 15, 2011, at Alumni Gym.
LOOKING BACK: Four players scored in double figures in a 117-73 win over Central Penn on Dec. 7 at Alumni Gym. Tanner Samson drained seven threes and scored a career-high 25 points and hauled down a career-best 11 boards for his first ever double-double. Kevin Blake added a career-best 19 points for the Phoenix, who captured its third straight win.
LOOKING AHEAD: Following Thursday’s game at Missouri, the Phoenix returns to action on Dec. 15 at second-ranked Duke.
REACHING THE CENTURY MARK: Elon scored 100+ points in back-to-back games against Virginia University of Lynchburg and Central Penn last week, marking the first and only such occurrence since the 1982-83 season.
BEYOND THE ARC: With seven threes against Central Penn on Dec. 7, Tanner Samson sits at 170 in his career and passes TJ Douglas for eighth in Elon history. Samson now needs three triples to pass Chris Long for seventh in program history and 11 to pass Drew Spradlin for sixth. Former teammate Jack Isenbarger holds the career record for threes made with 264. Samson leads the CAA in threes made with 31, good for eighth in the nation.
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. Koch holds the Elon single-game record with nine threes in last year’s game at 21st-ranked Colorado.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Elon’s 56-point win over the Virginia University of Lynchburg Dragons on Dec. 2 marked the largest margin of victory during Matt Matheny’s tenure. The previous record was 50 points set in last year’s 114-64 win over Washington & Lee.
ON THE BOARDS: Elon’s 67 rebounds against VUL on Dec. 2 marks only the third time since 2005 the team has grabbed 60+ rebounds in a game. Elon hauled down 60 boards in last year’s game vs. Central Penn. In 2005, the Phoenix hauled down 67 against Guilford.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Elon ranks first in the CAA in opponent three-point field goal percentage at 25.7 percent. Elon’s 6.9 steals per game ranks third in the league, while the Phoenix is second CAA in turnover margin at +2.00.
BRYANT HONORED AGAIN: Elon freshman guard Elijah Bryant earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 1 for the second time this season. Bryant averaged 12.7 points in Elon’s 2-1 week. Bryant scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in a 74-73 win over Morgan State, had 10 points in a 70-68 victory at Miami (Ohio) and also scored 10 in a loss to North Florida. Bryant, who has scored double figures in all six games this season, was named to the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division All-Tournament team for his performance. He is the leading scorer among CAA rookies.
HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: The 2014-15 season marks the sixth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters Thursday’s game with a career record of 82-85. 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.