ELON, N.C. – Behind a raucous crowd inside Alumni Gym, the Elon University men’s basketball team topped the visiting Appalachian State Mountaineers, 75-66, on Monday night, Jan. 6, inside Alumni Gym.
Appalachian State (4-10, 0-1 Southern Conference) trailed by as many as 20 points in the second session, but surged late to make it an eight-point game on a Frank Eaves layup with 3:49 remaining.
But Elon (8-8, 1-1 Southern Conference) responded, as Sebastian Koch buried a three from the top of the key on the next possession to put his team ahead by double digits, 63-52, and get the Alumni Gym crowd on its feet.
Elon held on from that point forward, hitting clutch shots and free throws down the stretch to secure its second straight win over ASU and its third in the last four meetings.
“We are very happy with the win and I think we took a step forward tonight,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “It was not always pretty, but I thought our first half performance was maybe the best we’ve played all year, at least in awhile. We were better tonight than we were Saturday.”
Ryan Winters had a career night for the Phoenix, scoring 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 19 minutes of action to lead the Elon attack off the bench. Elon’s reserves outscored their counterparts 32-18 in the win. Jack Isenbarger chipped in 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting in 26 minutes off the bench.
Ryley Beaumont led Elon with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with four rebounds, while Lucas Troutman finished the evening with 13 points, seven boards and three blocks.
As a team, Elon shot 55 percent (29-of-53) from the field and dominated the glass, 35-21.
The Phoenix forced an ASU timeout with 8:43 to play in the first half after a Beaumont jumper in the paint put the maroon and gold ahead by eight, 17-9.
Elon carried a commanding 35-20 lead into the locker room at intermission after shooting a blistering 65 percent in the opening frame on 17-of-26 field goals. Elon dominated the glass, 18-9, and received 20 bench points, including 10 points from Winters.
Elon kept its foot on the gas in the second period, opening up a 20-point lead with 11:34 to play on a Troutman dunk.
The Mountaineers managed to chip away at Elon’s lead and pull within eight points late in the second period, but Elon went 2-of-3 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line in the final 3:28 to hold off ASU.
Elon returns home on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. to battle The Citadel inside Alumni Gym.