Elon MBB Closes Non-Conference Slate Against Marist

Posted by Press Release on December 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Coming off back-to-back road wins, the Elon University men’s basketball team closes its non-conference schedule at home on Sunday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m. versus the Marist Red Foxes.

ELON VS. MARIST: Sunday marks the second meeting between Elon and Marist. Elon won last year’s meeting, 75-48, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Nov. 10. The 27-point margin of victory still holds as the largest on the road for the Phoenix during Matt Matheny’s tenure as head coach. Elon shot 50 percent from the floor in the win, as Tanner Samson scored a game-high 17 points to lead four Phoenix players in double figures.

ELON VS. MAAC: Elon has a 1-4 mark against members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) heading into Sunday’s game against Marist. Elon is 0-2 against both Canisius and Fairfield and 1-0 versus Marist.

LOOKING BACK: Elon rallied from 15 points down to come away with a 67-65 road win at Kennesaw State on Dec. 22, as rookie Elijah Bryant scored a season-high 25 points. Bryant hit a three-pointer with 44 seconds left to give the Phoenix a 64-62 lead and momentum late in the game. The two-time CAA Freshman of the Week also had a key block on a potential game-tying layup by KSU with less than 10 seconds remaining.

LOOKING AHEAD: Elon opens play in the Colonial Athletic Association on Jan. 3 at Drexel. Two days later, the Phoenix treks to Towson. Elon’s first home CAA game is scheduled for Jan. 8 against preseason player of the year Marcus Thornton and William & Mary.

HOME SWEET HOME: Sunday marks Elon’s first home game since a Dec. 7 win against Central Penn. Elon has a 17-5 record at home against non-conference foes over the last four seasons under head coach Matt Matheny.

FROM DEEP: With three three-point makes at Kennesaw State, Tanner Samson now sits at 180 in his career. Samson is tied with Drew Spradlin for sixth in program history. The junior from Littleton, Colo., ranks first in the CAA in threes made with 41 and is shooting 40.2 percent from deep. Samson’s 102 attempts from beyond the arc is first in the CAA.

DEFENDING THE THREE: Elon leads the CAA in three-point field goal defense, holding the opposition to 27 percent from deep this season.

FREEBIES: Rookie Elijah Bryant has been stellar from the free throw line this season. Bryant is shooting 84 percent (36-of-43) from the charity stripe this season, which ranks fifth in the CAA.

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 was named to the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division All-Tournament team for his performance.

HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: The 2014-15 season marks the sixth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters Sunday’s game with a career record of 84-87. Matheny was voted by the Southern Conference media as the Coach of the Year in 2012-13 and was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham award, 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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