GREENSBORO, N.C. – Elijah Bryant scored a season-high 20 points to lead the Elon University men’s basketball team to a 71-64 win over the UNCG Spartans on Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Elon moves to 6-5 with the victory, its 11th straight over the Spartans.
“We were pretty good on offense at times, but we still need to work on getting more stops,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “What we need to do to be a better team is get consistent stops so that we can score in transition. And that will make our half-court motion offense better as well.”
Tanner Samson scored a game-high 21 points, knocking down free throws in the waning moments to help the Phoenix hold off its Triad rival.
The Phoenix overcame a season-high 20 turnovers by shooting 50 percent from the floor on 24-of-48 field goals, while also hitting 18-of-27 free throws.
Elon knocked down 54 percent from the floor in the game’s first 20 minutes en route to a 35-29 lead at the break. Bryant led all players with 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting, as the two-time CAA Rookie of the Week also managed to make 5-of-6 from the line, too.
A quick 7-0 run forced Spartans head coach Wes Miller into an early timeout to begin the second session, as a Kevin Blake fast-break layup put the Phoenix ahead 42-29 with 18:21 remaining.
The Spartans managed to close the gap to five with 11:07 to play after a pair of Diante Baldwin free throw makes limited Elon to a 49-45 lead. But the Phoenix doubled back up after a Dmitri Thompson one-handed tip-in in with about eight minutes left gave Elon a 56-46 edge.
UNCG narrowed the spread to four points with 4:03 left on an RJ White dunk, but the maroon and gold kept the Spartans at arm’s length for the duration of the game to secure the win.
Elon concludes a four-game road swing on Monday afternoon, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. versus Kennesaw State. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.