Elon Men’s Basketball Welcomes App State to Alumni Gym Monday Night

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team hosts its first Southern Conference opponent of the year on Monday night, Jan. 6, when the Phoenix welcomes instate rival Appalachian State to Alumni Gym for a 7 p.m. tip.

ELON VS. APP STATE: Monday night marks the 96th all-time meeting between Elon and Appalachian State. ASU leads the series 53-42, but Elon has won two of the last three meetings. The Phoenix and Mountaineers split last year’s series. Elon claimed a 61-58 comeback win over ASU on Valentine’s Day last year inside Alumni Gym in the last meeting. The Mountaineers claimed an 80-70 win over Elon in Boone last season. Since 1994, Elon has a 6-4 record against ASU inside Alumni Gym. Since joining the Southern Conference, Elon has af 7-13 record versus the Mountaineers.

LAST MEETING: Elon rallied from eight points down with five minutes to play against ASU on Feb. 14, 2013, in Alumni Gym to claim a 61-58 victory. At the free throw line with 4.5 seconds remaining and with Elon trailing by two, Sebastian Koch had ice in his veins and knocked down both attempts in a 1-and-1 situation to give the Phoenix a 59-58 edge. On the ensuing inbound, ASU’s Nathan Healy threw the ball away on a deep pass just beyond midcourt to give Elon possession back with 4.5 seconds still on the clock. Jack Isenbarger extended Elon’s lead with the Mountaineers in a must-foul situation, hitting two from the stripe to put Elon ahead. Ryley Beaumont scored 22 points and grabbed a career-best 13 boards in the win.

LOOKING BACK: The Phoenix could not sustain a second-half punch from Western Carolina and overcome a season-high 23 turnovers in a 74-62 setback on Jan. 4 in its SoCon opener. The Phoenix trailed by two at the half and led by one point early in the second period, but the Catamounts surged with several runs, including a 9-0 late in the second session to take a 17 point lead. Elon pulled it back within 10 points late, but WCU kept the Phoenix at arm’s length to secure the win and remain unbeaten at home.

ELON IN SOCON PLAY: The Phoenix is in its 11th season as a member of the Southern Conference. Elon is 82-94 (including tournament action) against current members of the Southern Conference since the 2003-04 campaign. Elon went 13-5 against league foes during the regular season last year, winning the SoCon North Division title. Matt Matheny has a 34-39 record in SoCon play.

FROM LONG RANGE: Elon currently leads the Southern Conference in three-point field goal percentage at 41 percent and is second in threes made with 135. Tanner Samson (46) and Sebastian Koch (45) rank first and second in the league in threes made. Samson ranks second in the SoCon in three-point field goal percentage.

KOCH HONORED: Sebastian Koch scored a career-high 27 points at 21st-ranked Colorado on Dec. 13, and was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 17. Koch’s nine triples are the most in a single game during Elon’s Division I era. His 27 points mark the most by an Elon player since Jack Isenbarger’s 34-point performance against The Citadel on Feb. 4, 2012.

SAMSON HONORED: Tanner Samson was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 10 after scoring a career-high 23 points in an 87-70 win over VMI on Dec. 3. Samson connected on 5-of-8 from three-point land in the win and was 8-of-10 from the free-throw line. He added a career-best nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36 minutes against the Keydets.

MILESTONE WATCH: Both Sebastian Koch (952 points) and Ryley Beaumont (912 points) are in line to be the next Elon players to reach 1,000 career points. Elon currently has two players with over 1,000 career points in Lucas Troutman (1,364) and Jack Isenbarger (1,256). Troutman ranks 15th all-time and needs 18 points to pass Thomas Moore (1972-75) for 14th all-time. Isenbarger ranks 18th all-time in career points after recently passing Chris Long and Tom McGee. Isenbarger needs four points to pass Drew Spradlin for 17th all-time.

BLOCK PARTY: With two blocked shots against seventh-ranked Duke on Dec. 31, Lucas Troutman extended his program-best career mark to 180 blocks. Troutman set Elon’s all-time blocks record last season and is five blocks shy of passing VMI’s Eric Mann (1997-01) for 10th all-time in Southern Conference history. Troutman is the league’s active leader in career blocks.

TRACKING THE THREES: Jack Isenbarger enters Monday’s game with 229 career three-pointers made, which ranks second all-time in Elon history behind Chris Kiger’s (1994-98) career mark of 259. Isenbarger is the Southern Conference’s active leader in career triples.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Lucas Troutman has scored in double figures in 10 of Elon’s last 12 games this season and in 39 of the team’s last 46 games. Troutman has scored 20 or more points in eight of those contests.

HOME COOKING: Over the last three years, Elon has a 27-8 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. Elon is 5-1 at home for the third straight season and has won 12-of-14 inside Alumni Gym.

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 Monday’s game with an overall record of 66-76. Matheny was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham Award last season, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.