ELON, N.C. – Behind a barrage of three-pointers, the Elon University men’s basketball team closed the NIT Season Tip-Off with a 90-85 victory over the Georgia State Panthers on Tuesday night, Nov. 26, in Alumni Gym.
Elon (3-4) shot a sizzling 63 percent from beyond the arc on 15-of-24 shooting, as six Phoenix players scored in double figures.
“We fought and fought and fought tonight,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “Our players have been through some adversity against some really good opponents and we were fortunate to receive the reward of victory tonight.”
The Phoenix held on to a two-point lead with 1:34 remaining after a late Panthers surge, as Jack Isenbarger iced the game with four free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Lucas Troutman paced the Phoenix with 19 points and seven boards, while Sebastian Koch and Austin Hamilton added 15 points. Koch also registered a game-high seven assists.
Isenbarger added 12 points off the bench on 2-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc and a 6-for-6 performance at the free throw line. As a team, Elon knocked down 21-of-26 (81 percent) from the charity stripe. Ryley Beaumont was the sixth Elon player in double figures after finishing with 11 points.
Elon won the battle on the boards tonight, 28-26, despite being outscored in the paint, 42-18.
Ryan Harrow, who began his collegiate career locally at NC State before transferring to Kentucky and then Georgia State, scored a game-high 34 points on 13-of-26 shooting.
After an Isenbarger three-ball gave the Phoenix a 20-14 lead with 10:52 remaining in the first half, the Panthers responded with a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 26-20 advantage.
The Panthers held on at the half for a three-point lead, 44-41, shooting 57 percent from the field on 16-of-28 field goals. Both squads had the hot hand from downtown in the opening frame, as GSU connected for 6-of-7 from three, while Elon hit 7-of-13.
After falling behind by six midway through the second period, the Panthers went on an 8-1 run to take a 64-63 lead with 8:24 to play following a Harrow old-fashioned three-point play.
Trailing by three points with 26.7 seconds left, the Panthers’ Rashaad Richardson missed a three from the corner near the GSU bench that would have tied the game, as Isenbarger snared the rebound and was immediately fouled. The senior from Zionsville, Ind., went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch to secure the win for Elon.
Elon returns to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. when it hosts Columbia.