Elon Men’s Basketball Heads to NYC to Face Columbia

ELON, N.C. – Coming off a hard-fought setback against top-ranked Duke on Thursday night, the Elon men’s basketball team hits the road for another non-conference match-up on Saturday, Dec. 22. The Phoenix heads to New York this weekend to face Ivy League foe Columbia at 4 p.m. inside Levien Gymnasium.

Elon (6-5) at Columbia (5-4)
Site: New York
Arena (Capacity): Levien Gymnasium (2,700)
Series: Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: January 8, 2012 at Elon – Columbia won, 65-60
Radio: WPCM 920 AM – Taylor Durham (play-by-play) and Dick Stewart (color)

THE SERIES: Saturday marks the third meeting between the Phoenix and Lions. The series is tied, 1-1, after two prior meetings. Last year’s game against Columbia saw 13 lead changes and 12 ties, but the Lions managed to steal a 65-60 victory over the Phoenix in Alumni Gym on Jan. 8, 2012. Columbia shot 56 percent in the second half to overcome a six-point halftime deficit to earn the road win. The Lions went on an 18-8 run in the second half to take a two-point lead, 48-46, with 9:51 to play in the second period to claw back in the game. The first meeting at Columbia on Jan. 2, 2011 ended in dramatic fashion when former Phoenix guard Chris Long hit a fade-away jumper with 0.1 seconds remaining to give Elon a 70-69 win.

ELON VS. THE IVY LEAGUE: Saturday is Elon’s second of three games against Ivy League teams this season. The Phoenix topped Dartmouth, 71-49, on Dec. 4 at home and will face Princeton on Jan. 5 inside Alumni Gym. Elon is 3-4 all-time against members of the Ivy League. The Phoenix has wins over all three teams on its schedule this season from the conference – Columbia, Dartmouth and Princeton. Elon has also played Brown (0-1) and Yale (0-1).

LOOKING BACK: A second-half surge by top-ranked Duke proved to be too much to overcome for the visiting Elon University men’s basketball team on Thursday night, Dec. 20, as the Phoenix fell to the Blue Devils, 76-54, inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Trailing by seven points early in the second period, Elon saw Duke go on a 15-3 run to take a double-digit lead over a six-minute stretch, going ahead by 19 points with 10:47 remaining. The Phoenix limited the deficit to 15, but Duke kept its foot on the gas to secure the victory, its 100th consecutive non-conference home win. Mason Plumlee led the Blue Devils with 21 points and 15 boards, while Elon’s Sebastian Koch led the Phoenix with 14 points.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following Saturday’s game at Columbia, Elon returns home to Alumni Gym on Dec. 31 to close out the 2012 calendar year against Manchester. Tip is set for 2 p.m.