ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball came up just short against James Madison, 70-61, on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
“I thought we got better today,” head coach Mike Schrage began. “I thought we really made a step forward tonight against a talented JMU team with depth. The first half showed the kind of team we need to be for 40 minutes to put ourselves in the best position to win. Give JMU credit though, they’re in a really good rhythm right now.”
– After falling behind 9-3 to open the game, Simon Wright knocked down his first triple of the night to spark a 7-2 Elon run. After two Chuck Hannah free throws, Darius Burford used a pretty step-back move to create space from a JMU defender before drilling a mid-range jumper. The play brought the score to 11-10 early in the first half.
– With the Phoenix trailing 17-13 with 9:18 remaining in the opening half, two quick threes by Hunter McIntosh and Simon Wright sparked an 8-0 Elon run. Michael Graham culminated the Phoenix’s burst by knocking down a pair of free throws to give Elon a 21-17 advantage with 8:10 to play before halftime.
– Both sides traded scores for the remainder of the first half, and Elon entered the break leading 32-27.
– Trailing 39-33 with 14 minutes to play in the game, Darius Burford and Simon Wright buried a pair of three pointers to tie the game at 39. Moments later, Ikenna Ndugba finished a pretty left-handed layup to give the Phoenix a 41-39 advantage with just over 12 minutes remaining.
– Despite Elon’s surge, JMU went on a late 9-0 run that helped them secure a 70-61 win.
– Simon Wright led the way for the Phoenix, setting career-highs in points (17) and threes (5), while also posting a season-high in rebounds (7).
– Michael Graham was dominant on the defensive end, racking up a career-high six blocks on the night. Graham also set a new career-high with nine points, adding seven rebounds as well.
– Hunter Woods logged seven points and a season-best 13 rebounds in 34 minutes against JMU.
– Guards Hunter McIntosh and Darius Burford combined for 22 points, five rebounds and three assists in the loss.
– Elon’s bench outscored JMU’s bench 28-18 on Tuesday night.
Elon hits the road this weekend for games against Charleston on Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14. Both of those matchups are slated for a 1 p.m. tipoff and will be streamed live on FloSports.