BOONE, N.C. – A career-high 26 points from Ryley Beaumont was not enough for the Elon men’s basketball team on Saturday, Jan. 12, as the Phoenix dropped an 80-70 decision to the Appalachian State Mountaineers inside the Holmes Convocation Center.
Elon falls to 8-7 (1-2 Southern Conference) with the setback, while Appalachian State improves to 6-8 (2-1 Southern Conference) with the win.
“I thought our guys battled and competed tonight, but we didn’t make enough plays or do the little things we needed to do in the second half in order to win the game,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “I like the way we started, but the run they had to end the first half gave [Appalachian State] a lot of momentum moving forward.”
Elon shot 50 percent from the field in the game, its second best shooting percentage against a Division I opponent this season. But the maroon and gold struggled from beyond the arc, knocking down a season-low four shots in 20 attempts.
The Mountaineers shot 49 percent in the game, the second best performance by an Elon opponent this season. ASU connected on 10-of-20 shots from three-point land, as five Mountaineers scored in double figures.
Beaumont ended the day 11-of-13 from the field, while also grabbing a team-high nine boards.
Lucas Troutman was the only other Phoenix player to reach double digits, scoring 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Troutman has scored in double figures in 14 straight games.
Elon went ahead by as many as 12 points in the opening frame, as an Austin Hamilton layup with 10:41 remaining put the Phoenix up, 21-9.
But Appalachian State managed to come back and take momentum into the locker room at intermission, closing the half on a 15-3 run over the final 4:57 to tie it at 34-all.
Elon shot a blistering 57 percent from the field on the opening frame on 16-of-28 field goal attempts, as Beaumont led all players with nine points and five boards. As a team, the Phoenix outrebounded the Mountaineers, 16-12, in the first period.
ASU took its first lead of the game with 18:35 to play in the second period after a pair of Jay Canty free throws put the Phoenix behind, 36-34.
A stroke of luck from Neal helped Appalachian State tie the game with 11:58 remaining after he banked a three-pointer from the corner near the Mountaineers’ bench to tie it at 49-all.
ASU took its largest lead of the game at the time with about four minutes remaining after a Canty floater off the glass made it a 68-61 game.
The Mountaineers kept the Phoenix at arm’s length down the stretch to secure the win, its fourth straight.
Elon heads to Cullowhee, N.C., on Monday, Jan. 14, to face Western Carolina at 7 p.m.