ELON, N.C. — The Elon men’s basketball team will head to the West Coast for its final game before the Christmas holiday to challenge the San Diego State Aztecs on Thursday, December 22. The contest will tip at 7:30 EST from Viejas Arena. Elon will be playing in California for only the second time in program history and challenging a team from the state of California for only the third time in history.
Site: San Diego, Calif.
Arena: Viejas Arena
Series: First meeting
Radio: WPCM 920 AM — Taylor Durham and Dick Stewart will call the action
• With a 7-3 record, Elon is off to the best start in the last 21 years of Elon basketball. The mark is the best since Elon opened the season 14-2 in 1990-91.
• The Phoenix is in the midst of a three-game road swing — Elon is 2-3 in road contests this year with wins at Princeton and UNCG.
• Lucas Troutman moved into Elon’s all-time career blocks list with two swats against South Carolina. He is averaging 2.4 bpg in the last five contests. The sophomore now has 64 blocks in just over a year of action and is in ninth place all-time at Elon.
• Sophomore Sebastian Koch leads the team with 22 three-pointers on the year. He is 7-of-15 from long range over the last three games.
• As a team, Elon has hit 22 triples over the last two contests.
• Elon has held opponents to under 40 percent shooting in each one of its wins this year — but opponents have shot above 40 percent in the three losses. The Phoenix ranks first in the SoCon and 17th in the country in field goal percentage defense (.370). Opponents are shooting only 27.2 percent from three-point territory — a stat that ranks first in the SoCon and 25th in the nation.
• The Phoenix has shot better than its opponent in all seven wins this year but been outrebounded in all but two of those victories.
• 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 (.368).
• Elon has a very well-rounded offense with five players averaging nine or more points per game.
LAST TIME OUT
• Elon had its four-game winning streak snapped in a 62-54 loss at Dartmouth in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. All three of the Phoenix’s losses have come on the road.
• Elon had its worst shooting percentage of the year, connecting on only 29.1 percent from the floor. The field goal percentage was the lowest by an Elon team since a 26.0 percent shooting performance in a 55-31 loss at Samford on December 3, 2009.
• The Phoenix opened the game 5-of-5 from the floor and went 11-of-50 the rest of the way.
ELON VS. SAN DIEGO STATE
• Elon and San Diego State are meeting for the first time in school history.
• This is only the second time Elon has ever faced one of the current Mountain West Conference opponents. Elon suffered an 83-67 loss at Boise State on Dec. 21, 2004.
• San Diego State is on a three-game winning streak. The Aztecs have lost only once at home, an 85-83 loss to #22 Creighton. Four players are averaging in double figures — Chase Tapley leads the squad with 17.7 ppg and shoots 53 percent from three-point land.