ELON, N.C. – Jack Isenbarger found his rhythm at the right time on Sunday night, Nov. 18, in Alumni Gym, as the junior scored nine points in overtime to lift the Elon men’s basketball team to a 62-59 win over Florida Atlantic in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Regional Winners’ Game.
Isenbarger went just 8-of-22 from the field in the game and scored just seven points after 40 minutes of basketball, but the Zionsville, Ind., native put the maroon and gold on his back in OT after going 3-of-3 from the field, which included a key three-pointer with 2:40 remaining, and sinking a pair of free throws in the waning moments to help the Phoenix secure the Tournament title.
“It was very difficult for both teams to play yesterday afternoon and turn around and play today, but I’m proud of the way we fought back, defended and grinded out a victory tonight,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “Our veteran leadership was tremendous as we went down the stretch in regulation and overtime and I’m very pleased to come out with a win.”
Isenbarger finished the night with a team-high 16 points, while Lucas Troutman scored 14 points to go along with eight boards and four blocks. Troutman was named the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Regional Games Most Outstanding Player for his efforts this weekend. In three games this weekend, Troutman recorded a total of 13 blocked shots.
Troutman saved the game for the Phoenix with 29 seconds left on the clock in regulation with the score tied at 48-all, as the junior swatted Stefan Moody’s potential go-ahead layup to keep tied. Troutman’s attempt at the game-winner just seconds later on a baseline jumper sailed just over the basket as the buzzer sounded, sending the game to overtime.
Elon trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but Kevin Blake helped pull Elon within four points with 11:08 remaining after an old-fashioned three-point play made it a 39-35 game.
Troutman helped tie the game with just under eight minutes left after a monster dunk on a fast-break put the Elon faithful on their feet and tied the game at 39-all, forcing an FAU timeout.
Ryley Beaumont scored 11 points for Elon in the victory and was clutch in key moments down the stretch. Beaumont gave Elon its largest lead in the extra session after connecting from downtown with 1:28 to play to give the Phoenix a four-point edge.
The Phoenix proved to be efficient with the ball for the second straight game, committing just seven turnovers and forcing FAU into 18. The seven turnovers by Elon are the lowest since the team committed the same amount against The Citadel in the Southern Conference Tournament two seasons ago. The last time the team committed less than seven was on Feb. 11, 2010 against College of Charleston when it committed just five.
The Owls took a seven-point lead with 5:37 remaining in the first half and forced a Phoenix timeout when Jordan McCoy slashed through the Elon defense for a layup to make it a 25-18 game.
FAU went ahead by as many as 11 points in the opening frame, but Elon limited the damage to nine points, 31-22, at intermission.
The maroon and gold knocked down 26 percent (8-of-31) of its shots from the field in the first 20 minutes, including just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. The FAU reserves accounted for 13 points in the first half, with the majority coming off the hot hand of Stefan Moody with 11. Moody finished the night with a game-high 22 points.
Elon shot 34 percent from the field in the win on 24-of-71 field goals, including a 5-of-22 clip from beyond the arc. The Phoenix limited FAU to 24 percent shooting in the second period on 5-of-21 shooting, which included zero makes from three-point land. Elon limited FAU to just 17 points in the second period.
Elon returns to the hardwood on Wednesday, Nov. 21, for its rubber-match with the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. Elon topped USC in its home opener last season in Alumni Gym, marking the program’s first win over an SEC opponent. Two seasons ago, the Gamecocks got the better of the Phoenix in Columbia with a 94-79 win.