ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team plays its third game in a four-game home stand on Sunday, Dec. 1, when the Phoenix welcomes the Ivy League’s Columbia to Alumni Gym for a 2 p.m. tip.
ELON VS. COLUMBIA: Sunday marks the fourth all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Lions, as Elon leads the series, 2-1. Last season’s win at Columbia was a memorable one, as Jack Isenbarger buried a game-winning three with 2.3 seconds remaining to lead the Phoenix to a 70-69 win. Two years prior to Isenbarger’s game-winner, former Elon standout and current director of basketball operations Chris Long hit the game-winning jumper at Columbia to give the Phoenix a 70-69 win. The last time the two teams met inside Alumni Gym was Jan. 8, 2012, as the Lions came away with a 65-60 win. Columbia shot 56 percent in the second half in that game to overcome a six-point halftime deficit.
LOOKING BACK: Elon closed the NIT Season Tip-Off with a 90-85 win over the Georgia State Panthers on Tuesday, Nov. 26, inside Alumni Gym. The Phoenix knocked down 15-of-24 (63 percent) from long distance and put six players in double figures, led by Lucas Troutman’s 19 points and seven boards. Georgia State’s Ryan Harrow scored a game-high 34 points for the Panthers, the most by an opponent vs. Elon since former College of Charleston standout Andrew Goudelock scored 34 on Feb. 9, 2011, against the Phoenix.
LOOKING AHEAD: It will be a quick turnaround for the Phoenix this week, as the maroon and gold hosts VMI on Tuesday night, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. Following Tuesday’s game, Elon is idle until a Dec. 13 contest at Colorado.
FROM LONG RANGE: Elon currently leads the Southern Conference in three-point field goal percentage at 45.2 percent. Tanner Samson leads the conference in three-pointers made with 25, while Sebastian Koch ranks second with 21.
HOME COOKING: Over the last three years, Elon has a 24-8 record inside the friendly confines of Alumni Gym. Elon has sold out Alumni Gym nine times under head coach Matt Matheny, with its last sellout coming on Nov. 8, 2013, on opening night when the Phoenix topped Washington & Lee.
HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: Matt Matheny is in his fifth season as the Elon head men’s basketball coach. The 2013 Southern Conference Coach of the Year by the media, Matheny enters Sunday’s game with an overall record of 62-72. Matheny was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham Award last season, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.