Elon Men’s Basketball Falls to Canisius in First Round of CIT

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Elon University men’s basketball team saw its historic 2012-13 season come to an end on Wednesday night, March 20, after dropping a 69-53 decision to Canisius in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) at the Koessler Athletic Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

Elon finishes the year with a 21-12 mark, the most wins at the Division I level and most since the 1973-74 season. The CIT marked Elon’s first postseason appearance at the Division I ranks as well. Canisius improves to 19-13 and advances to the second round of the CIT.

“We just could not find a rhythm tonight,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “Canisius is a good team that has several guys that can score and we just weren’t able to answer after allowing big runs by them that knocked us to the mat.”

The Golden Griffins forced Elon into 19 turnovers, the second most in a single game all season by the maroon and gold. In turn, Canisius cashed in on the Phoenix’s miscues with 20 points.

As a team, Elon shot a season-low 29.4 percent from the field on 20-of-68 field goal attempts.

Elon dominated on the glass, 48-37, grabbing a total of 17 boards on the offensive end.

The Phoenix finished one three-pointer shy of tying its single-game high this season set on Dec. 15 at UMass, ending the game 9-of-34 from beyond the arc.

Ryley Beaumont recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Phoenix. Jack Isenbarger was the only other Elon player in double figures with 13 points.

Elon took a 13-12 lead with 11:14 remaining in the first half after Isenbarger dialed up his second of back-to-back triples from deep to put the Phoenix ahead by one point.

But the Griffins held the Phoenix in check for the remainder of the opening frame, as an Isaac Sosa three-pointer from the corner put Elon down, 35-23, at intermission.

Canisius forced Elon into an uncharacteristic 13 turnovers in the first half, turning 15 of the Phoenix’s miscues into 15 points. Elon shot 31 percent in the opening frame, while the Griffs knocked down 42-percent from the field on 14-of-33 shooting, including a 5-of-12 clip from beyond the arc.

Elon trimmed a 19-point second-half deficit down to 12 with 5:15 remaining after a Beaumont layup on a Phoenix fast break limited the Griffins to a 59-47 lead and forced a Canisius timeout.

But the Golden Griffins kept the Phoenix to a double-digit deficit for the duration of the game to advance to the second round of the CIT.

Canisius put four players in double figures in the win, including a team-high 19 points from Harold Washington.