ELON, N.C. – A little bit of Hawaii heads to Alumni Gym on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18, as the Phoenix men’s basketball team hosts the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Regional Games on the campus of Elon University. The Phoenix opens the Regional Games on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Colgate before taking on one of the two remaining participants, Florida Atlantic and Coppin State, a day later at 4:30 p.m.
MAUI ON THE MAINLAND: The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational is celebrating its 29th year as the nation’s premier early-season men’s college basketball tournament. In 2011, the Tournament expanded from eight teams to 12. The number of Tournament games also increased from 12 games, played on the Island of Maui, to 23 games, which include 11 games played on the U.S. mainland. The expanded Tournament format is played in three parts: Opening Games, Regional Games and the Championship Round. Last year’s Regional Games were hosted by East Tennessee State University.
ELON VS. THE FIELD: Elon has never faced Colgate, Coppin State or Florida Atlantic.
COMMON THREADS: Other than Florida Atlantic and Coppin State, Elon and Colgate have two common opponents this season in Columbia and Dartmouth. Elon hosts Dartmouth on Dec. 4 before heading to Columbia on Dec. 22. Other than the teams competing this weekend, Elon does not have a common opponent with FAU or Coppin State.
HOME COOKING: Elon won its eighth consecutive home opener with a 95-51 rout of Bridgewater on Nov. 13 in Alumni Gym. Elon, now 12-2 in home openers during the Division I era, knocked down 16 shots from beyond the arc in the win – the most since hitting the same amount against UNCG and Lynchburg during the 2010-11 season. The 44-point margin of victory is the largest for Elon in a home opener since the 1917-18 season when Elon beat Atlanta Christian, 66-11.
ON THE HORIZON: Following the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Regional Games this weekend, Elon heads back on the road on Nov. 21 for the rubber-match with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Elon topped South Carolina last year, 58-53, in its home opener. The Phoenix fell to the Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C., during the 2010-11 season.
CAREER HIGH: Ryley Beaumont is off to a hot start this season, as the junior tied a career high mark with 15 points in Elon’s 95-51 win over Bridgewater on Nov. 13. Beaumont opened the season with a team-high 13 points at Butler on Nov. 10.