Elon MBB Hot-Shooting Dukes Down Phoenix at Home

Posted by Press Release on February 15, 2015 at 7:04 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team could not match a hot-shooting James Madison squad en route to an 86-75 setback on Saturday night, Feb. 14, at Alumni Gym.

JMU (16-11, 9-5 CAA) put four in double figures and shot 61 percent for the game – the highest shooting percentage by an Elon opponent this season – and hit 11-of-20 from long distance.

“We really competed tonight, and it’s a testament to the type of guys we have on this team because we’re going through a tough stretch right now,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “We started well in this game, but we didn’t defend well enough to win. We scored well and our offense was efficient, but they made some big shots and we have to defend better.”

In spite of its defensive struggles against the Dukes, Elon (11-16, 3-11 CAA) still shot 43 percent for the game and committed a season-low six turnovers. Four Phoenix players scored in double figures, led by Elijah Bryant’s 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Austin Hamilton added 16 points, while Dmitri Thompson and Kevin Blake pitched in 14 and 10, respectively.

Tanner Samson nailed one three in the setback, tying Jack Isenbarger for the Elon single-season mark of 82. As a whole, the Phoenix went 9-of-30 from deep.

With 9:19 to play in the second half, the Phoenix brought the deficit to five and started to gain momentum after Bryant connected on a three-ball from the wing to make it a 66-61 game.

But the Dukes quickly answered, as Yohanny Dalembert scored five-straight points on a pair of free throws and jumper in the paint to give his squad a nine-point cushion, 70-61, with 8:27 to play.

A pair of Bryant free throws later in the half with 3:48 to play again brought Elon within five, but an 8-0 run from the Dukes pushed JMU out to an 81-68 lead with 2:07 to play, which it would not relinquish down the stretch.

Elon returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at College of Charleston.

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