ELON, N.C. – Coming off a win over Appalachian State on Monday night, the Elon University men’s basketball team returns to Alumni Gym on Saturday night, Jan. 11, to host The Citadel Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Admission to the game is $20. Watch the game live on Phoenix All-Access.
ELON VS. THE CITADEL: Saturday night marks the 18th all-time meeting between Elon and The Citadel. Elon leads the series, 13-4, and has won five straight against the Bulldogs. In games played in Alumni Gym, Elon has a 5-2 mark versus The Citadel. Phoenix head coach Matt Matheny is 5-1 against The Citadel during his tenure at Elon. Jack Isenbarger has had a stellar career against The Citadel. In five games, Isenbarger is averaging 15.4 points per contest, which includes a 34-point performance on Feb. 4, 2012. Isenbarger’s 34 points in that game still stands as the single-game high during Elon’s Division I era.
LAST MEETING: Elon and The Citadel last met on Jan. 26, 2013, in Charleston, S.C., as the Phoenix came away with a 70-66 win. Elon put three in double figures in the win, including a game-high 22 points and eight assists from Jack Isenbarger. Tanner Samson added 15 points on five makes from three-point land, while Lucas Troutman chipped in 14 points. The Phoenix shot 32 three-point attempts in the win, connecting on 12.
LOOKING BACK: The Phoenix held off a second-half Mountaineers surge on Monday, Jan. 6, in Alumni Gym, claiming a 75-66 victory. Elon led by as many as 20 points, but saw App State pull within six with less than a minute to play. But the Phoenix kept the Mountaineers at arm’s length from that point forward, hitting key free throws in the waning moments to secure its first Southern Conference win of the season. Elon put four in double figures in the win, including a career-high 14 from Ryan Winters. Ryley Beaumont chipped in 16 points, while Lucas Troutman and Jack Isenbarger scored 13 and 12, respectively.
LOOKING AHEAD: Following Saturday’s game, Elon’s next contest is a Jan. 16 game at Davidson. The Phoenix returns home on Jan. 18 to host 19th-ranked UMass in Alumni Gym. That game will mark Elon’s first home game in Alumni Gym versus a nationally ranked team. The game versus the Minutemen has been dubbed a White Out and fans are encouraged to wear white to the game to support the Phoenix.
ELON IN SOCON PLAY: The Phoenix is in its 11th season as a member of the Southern Conference. Elon is 83-94 (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 35-39 record in SoCon play.
FROM LONG RANGE: Elon currently leads the Southern Conference in three-point field goal percentage at 40 percent (22nd nationally) and is second in threes made with 138 (11th nationally). Sebastian Koch (47) and Tanner Samson (46) rank first and second in the league in threes made and are both in the top-20 nationally. Samson ranks fifth 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 (960 points) and Ryley Beaumont (928 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 (1,377) and Jack Isenbarger (1,268). Troutman ranks 15th all-time and needs five points to pass Thomas Moore (1972-75) for 14th all-time. Isenbarger ranks 17th all-time in scoring and needs 28 points to pass Ed Juratic for 16th all-time.
BLOCK PARTY: With three blocked shots against App State on Jan. 6, Lucas Troutman extended his program-best career mark to 183 blocks. Troutman set Elon’s all-time blocks record last season and is two 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 Saturday’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 11 of Elon’s last 13 games this season and in 40 of the team’s last 47 games. Troutman has scored 20 or more points in eight of those contests.
HOME COOKING: Over the last three years, Elon has a 28-8 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 off to a 6-1 start at home, the best through seven games under Matt Matheny and the best start since starting 6-1 in 2001-02. Elon’s best home start to a season was the 1990-91 season when the team began 9-0 at home. Elon has won 13-of-15 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 Saturday’s game with an overall record of 67-76. Matheny was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham Award last season, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.