ELON, N.C. — The Elon men’s basketball team will be looking to match its best start since the 1996-97 season and remain unbeaten in Alumni Gym on the year when the Phoenix welcomes the Navy Midshipmen to town for a Saturday afternoon showdown. The game is set to tip at 2 p.m. and is part of a double header with the Elon women’s team which hosts Southern Conference preseason favorite Chattanooga at 7 p.m. Fans can gain free admission to either contest by bringing a new or gently used coat to donate to Elon’s coat drive to benefit Allied Churches of Alamance County.
Site: Elon, N.C.
Arena: Alumni Gym
Series: Navy leads, 1-2
Streak: Elon has won one
Radio: WPCM 920 AM — Taylor Durham and Dick Stewart will call the action
• With a 4-2 record, Elon is off to the best start in Division I history. The last time the Phoenix opened with a 4-2 mark or better was in 1996-97 when the squad started the year 5-2.
• Elon has held opponents to under 40 percent shooting in each one of its wins this year. The Phoenix ranks first in the SoCon in field goal percentage defense (.379) and third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.278).
• While Elon defends the long ball well, the Phoenix also shoots the three-point shot with accuracy. Elon ranks second in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.363).
• After averaging 10.0 three-pointers through the first three games, Elon is winning without relying on the long ball and has hit just 6.3 per game in last three contests.
• Tonight Elon will honor senior Drew Spradlin for becoming the 34th player in school history to reach the 1,000 career point plateau. Spradlin notched his 1,000th point against Rutgers-Camden.
• The 2011-12 Phoenix is a youthful team with only one senior on the roster. Four sophomores and a freshman have each earned starting nods this year.
• Lucas Troutman moved into Elon’s all-time career blocks list with two swats against South Carolina. The sophomore now has 55 blocks in just over a year of action, 10th all-time at Elon.
LAST TIME OUT
• The Phoenix is coming off a big Southern Conference victory against Furman on Wednesday night.
• The victory was Elon’s first in a league opener since a 59-49 win against Western Carolina on November 27, 2007.
• Senior Drew Spradlin scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
• Sophomore Ryley Beaumont was a point away from a double-double with nine points and a career-high 11 boards.
• Rookie Austin Hamilton netted 11 points, had four assists and no turnovers.
• The Phoenix scored 18 points off 11 Paladin turnovers.
ELON VS. NAVY
• This will be the fourth meeting in the last four years between Elon and Navy, but the Midshipmen are visiting Alumni Gym for the first time since 2008-09.
• The Phoenix picked up its first-ever victory against Navy last season as four Elon players scored in double figures in the win.
• Elon hit 13 three-pointers and outgained Navy on the glass, 46-27, in last year’s win.
• Roger Dugas racked up a career-high 13 rebounds at Navy last season while Drew Spradlin scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed eight boards.