Elon MBB Meets William & Mary Wednesday in Williamsburg

Posted by Press Release on February 10, 2015 at 9:47 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team plays its final regular season game against the Tribe of William & Mary on Wednesday night, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. inside Kaplan Arena.

ELON VS. WILLIAM & MARY: Wednesday marks the seventh all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Tribe. W&M leads the series, 5-1, but Elon won the last meeting between the two schools on Jan. 8 at Alumni Gym, 85-79. Tanner Samson nailed a go-ahead three with 1:08 left in the game that gave his squad a 78-75 lead it would not relinquish down the stretch. Samson finished with 20 points, while rookie Elijah Bryant ended the day with 25 points. The last time the two schools met prior to this year’s meeting was Dec. 22, 1998, when the Tribe claimed a 101-69 decision at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

LOOKING BACK: Elon dropped a hard-fought 80-69 decision at Hofstra in its last game on Feb. 7 after the Pride surged late in the second half to secure the win. Elon led midway through the second session after going on a 9-0, capped by back-to-back threes by Austin Hamilton and Tanner Samson, but Hofstra answered with a quick 7-0 spurt to regain the lead and eventually go ahead by as many as 14. Elon went 10-of-22 from long distance, marking only the second time this season the Phoenix has lost when making 10 or more threes in a game (5-2 in seven games with 10+ threes).

ELON IN FEBRUARY: Going into Wednesday’s game at William & Mary, Elon has a 24-20 mark in the month of February under head coach Matt Matheny. Last year, Elon went 7-1 in February.

FROM DEEP: Tanner Samson nailed four threes against Hofstra on Feb. 7, bringing his career total to 220. Samson sits in fourth place all-time in Elon history in career threes trailing only Jack Isenbarger (264), Chris Kiger (259) and Sebastian Koch (242) in career threes. Samson leads the CAA in threes made with 81 (fourth nationally) and three-point attempts with 215 (third nationally).

286 AND COUNTING: The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 286 consecutive games. The last time Elon did not make a three in a game was Jan. 30, 2006, at Georgia Southern when the team went 0-of-14 from deep.

FIRST-YEAR SUCCESS: Rookie guard Elijah Bryant is leading all CAA freshmen in scoring at 13.6 points per game. Bryant has been tabbed CAA Rookie of the Week four times this season and garnered player of the week honors once. He has 19 double-digit efforts in 25 games. In CAA games, Bryant is averaging 14.8 points per contest.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Elon has forced at least 12 turnovers in 22 of its 25 games this season. Elon forced a season-high 21 turnovers against Charlotte on Nov. 16. The Phoenix forced 19 turnovers on Jan. 3 at Drexel, the most against a league opponent this season.

40-PERCENT MARK: Elon has an 11-5 record this season when it shoots 40+ percent from the floor. The Phoenix is 0-9 when it shoots below 40 percent.

READY FOR LIFTOFF: When it’s all said and done, the Phoenix will have traveled a total of 17,415 miles on the road this season via flight and bus. Elon’s longest trip was a 5,764-mile round-trip to Cancun, Mexico. The team’s shortest trip was a 44-mile round-trip to the Greensboro Coliseum.

HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: The 2014-15 season marks the sixth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters Wednesday’s game with a career record of 88-96. 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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