Elon Men’s Basketball Hosts Western Carolina on Thursday Night

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team returns to Alumni Gym on Thursday night, Jan. 30, to take on the Western Carolina Catamounts in a key Southern Conference battle. The game is schedule to begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted live on Phoenix All-Access.

ELON VS. WESTERN CAROLINA: Thursday marks the 95th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Catamounts, as Elon leads the series 54-40. Thursday is the 24th meeting between the two schools since Elon joined the Southern Conference. The Phoenix is 10-13 against the Catamounts as a member of the SoCon. The last time the two teams met in Alumni Gym on Feb. 16, 2013, Elon came away with an 80-73 victory in overtime. WCU rallied from 12 points down to take a three-point lead toward the end of regulation, but the Phoenix managed to send it to OT and outscore the Catamounts 16-9 in the extra session.

LAST MEETING: Elon dropped a 74-62 decision to WCU on Jan. 4, 2014, in Cullowhee, N.C., in its SoCon opener. The Catamounts forced the Phoenix into 23 turnovers and surged with a 14-2 run over a five-minute stretch in the second half, capped off by a Brandon Boggs fastbreak dunk with 5:47 remaining that gave WCU a 17-point lead. Elon put three in double figures in the setback, led by Austin Hamilton’s team-high 19 points. Trey Sumler paced the Catamounts with a game-high 21 points.

LOOKING BACK: Elon rallied from 13 points down at Samford on Jan. 25 to make it a one-point game late, but the Phoenix could not get over the hump in a 62-59 setback. The Phoenix had three chances to tie the game in the final two minutes, but came up short each time. Sebastian Koch’s potential game-tying triple sailed long off the iron in the final moments to allow the Bulldogs to take the win.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following Thursday night’s game against WCU, Elon heads to the mountains of Boone, N.C., for a Saturday afternoon matinee versus the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Tip is set for 2 p.m. at the Holmes Center.

STAY CLASSY: This year’s senior class of Ryley Beaumont, Egheosa Edomwonyi, Jack Isenbarger, Sebastian Koch and Lucas Troutman has totaled 60 wins during its tenure at Elon, which is the most by a class during the school’s Division I era. The 1974 class, led by Clarence “Diffy” Ross, holds the all-time record for wins by a senior class with 85. The class of 1974 played with a total of eight players that have scored 1,000 or more points in their career at Elon.

TROUTMAN DUNKS: Lucas Troutman has tallied a total of 19 dunks this season. When Troutman dunks, Elon is 7-7. When Troutman does not dunk, Elon is 3-4. Troutman has registered a total of four multi-dunk games, including a season-high three at Chattanooga on Jan. 23. Troutman has six dunks in Elon’s last five games.

MILESTONE WATCH: Sebastian Koch became the third player on Elon’s roster to reach 1,000 career points on Jan. 18 against UMass and now sits at 1,022 career points, joining Lucas Troutman (1,461) and Jack Isenbarger (1,324). Troutman ranks 11th all-time in scoring and needs 109 points to pass Clarence “Diffy” Ross for 10th all-time. Isenbarger ranks 15th all-time in school history in career points and needs 58 points to pass Thomas Moore for 14th. Elon’s next closest player to reaching 1,000 career points is Ryley Beaumont (973 points). If Beaumont reaches 1,000 points this season, Elon will be the only team in the nation with four 1,000-point scorers on its current roster.

HOME COOKING: Over the last three years, Elon has a 29-9 record inside the friendly confines of Alumni Gym. Elon has sold out Alumni Gym 10 times under head coach Matt Matheny, with its most recent sellout coming on Jan. 18 vs. No. 15/16 UMass. Elon is 7-2 at home this year and has won 14-of-17 inside Alumni Gym.

ELON IN SOCON PLAY: The Phoenix is in its 11th season as a member of the Southern Conference. Elon is 85-96 (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 37-41 record in SoCon play.

FROM LONG RANGE: Elon currently leads the Southern Conference in three-point field goal percentage at 39 percent and threes made with 179. Sebastian Koch (60) and Tanner Samson (56) rank first and third in the league in threes made, respectively. The long-distance duo ranks third and fifth in the league in three-point field goal percentage, respectively.

BLOCK PARTY: With one blocked shot at Samford on Jan. 25, Lucas Troutman extended his program-best career mark to 193 blocks. Troutman set Elon’s all-time blocks record last season and ranks ninth all-time in Southern Conference history in blocks and needs one block to pass Appalachian State’s Ricky Nedd for eighth all-time. Troutman is the league’s active leader in career blocks.

TRACKING THE THREES: Jack Isenbarger enters Thursday’s game with 242 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. Sebastian Koch ranks third all-time in career threes with 224.

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 Thursday’s game with an overall record of 69-79. Matheny was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham Award last season, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.