Pesky Elon MBB Squad Falls at #2 Duke

Posted by Press Release on December 16, 2014 at 3:48 am under College | Comments are off for this article

DURHAM, N.C. – A pesky Elon University men’s basketball squad would not go away on Monday night, Dec. 15, at Cameron Indoor Stadium versus a talented second-ranked Duke team. But it was the Blue Devils and freshman phenom Jahlil Okafor who came away with the victory, a 75-62 decision inside a raucous Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke (9-0) led Elon (5-5) by as many as 20 points in the game, but the Phoenix chipped away in the second half and brought the margin down and never let the high-octane Blue Devils run away with the game.

Okafor finished with 25 points and 20 rebounds for Duke, while Luke Eddy led the maroon and gold with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor.

“Our players understood that in order to be successful in any way, shape or form, that we needed to play with an aggression, and I think we did that particularly in the second half,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “I love coaching our team. I think we have some really tough and competitive kids. We make some of the silliest mistakes, but we keep on fighting. And I think that was reflective in the way that we played down the stretch in the second half.”

Elon outscored Duke by two points, 41-39, in the second half, shooting 56 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes. As a whole, the Phoenix shot 42 percent in the game and outscored Duke’s bench, 35-14.

Duke forced a Phoenix timeout with 13:46 on the clock in the first period after an Elijah Bryant turnover near midcourt led to an easy dunk for Justise Winslow, giving the Blue Devils a 13-2 lead.

Trailing by as many as 14 points in the opening frame, Eddy trimmed Duke’s lead to nine with 3:50 remaining after back-to-back baskets made it a 30-21 game.

The Blue Devils took a 36-21 lead into the locker room at the break, as the Phoenix could not find an answer for Okafor, who went for 10 points and 11 boards in the first 20 minutes.

Okafor paced four Blue Devils in double digits, as Amile Jefferson, Winslow and Rasheed Sulaimon all ended the night with double figures.

Duke has now won an NCAA-best 114 consecutive non-conference home games.

Elon returns to action Saturday, Dec. 20, at UNCG. Tip is set for 2 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

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