ELON, N.C. – Coming off an 11-day break for final exams, the Elon University men’s basketball team (6-3) will face a tough road test on Saturday, Dec. 15, when the Phoenix faces UMass (4-3). The contest between the Phoenix and Minutemen will be played at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., and is the 2012 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase game in conjunction with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Tip is set for noon.
THE SERIES: Saturday marks the second meeting between Elon and UMass following last year’s match-up in Amherst, Mass., at the Curry Hicks Cage. The Minutemen came away with an 85-67 win over the Phoenix last season after outscoring Elon 46-24 in the final period to earn the victory in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Lucas Troutman led the maroon and gold with 15 points.
ELON VS. THE ATLANTIC 10: Saturday’s game against UMass marks the program’s 19th game all-time against a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Elon opened the season against A10 foe Butler on Nov. 10 as part of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Elon is 2-16 all-time against A10 members with wins against George Washington and Charlotte.
ON THE HORIZON: Following Saturday’s game against UMass, the Phoenix heads down the road to Durham, N.C., on Dec. 20 to face the second-ranked Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU and tip is set for 7 p.m.
LOOKING BACK: In its last outing, the Phoenix stifled the Dartmouth Big Green, 71-49, inside Alumni Gym on Dec. 4. Elon held Dartmouth to a season-low 27.9 percent shooting from the field in the win, including a 1-of-19 mark from three-point land. The Phoenix turned 12 turnovers by the Big Green into 13 points, while protecting the ball with just eight turnovers – the second lowest in a game this season by Elon.
ON THIS DATE: Elon is 7-5 all-time in games played on Dec. 15. The last time the Phoenix played on Dec. 15 was in 2007 when it came away with a 66-57 win at home against Wofford.