ELON, N.C. – Five Phoenix players scored in double figures as the Elon men’s basketball team rolled to a 74-60 win over Western Carolina on Thursday night, Jan. 30, inside Alumni Gym.
Lucas Troutman paced the maroon and gold with 17 points and 10 boards en route to his eighth career double-double, as Elon (11-11, 4-3 Southern Conference) shot 53 percent from the field.
Elon limited Western Carolina (12-11, 5-3 Southern Conference) to 40 percent shooting in the victory, holding Trey Sumler, who came into the game ranked fourth in the league in scoring at 18.3 points per game, to six points.
“We’re pleased with the win,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “We played much better defensively than we have been and that was key tonight. I also thought we had more of an aggression in our offensive attack and those were the two main things we focused on coming in.”
Starting for the first time this season, Jack Isenbarger played 25 minutes and finished with 11 points, going a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Kevin Blake earned a start for the Phoenix as well, the fourth of his career, as the Toronto, Ontario, native ended the night with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
Tanner Samson provided a spark off the bench for the Phoenix, scoring 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, which included a 4-of-6 clip from three. Sebastian Koch ended the night with 13 points.
Elon ended the game with a slight 33-31 edge on the glass and finished with a 30-14 advantage in point in the paint.
Elon led by as many as 18 points in the first half, taking a 35-20 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Phoenix shot a blistering 55 percent from the field in the opening frame, knocking down 12-of-22 from the field and 5-of-8 from long distance.
Western Carolina managed to trim Elon’s lead to three points with 6:31 to play, as a James Sinclair triple from the wing limited the Phoenix to a 58-55 lead.
But Elon responded with a quick 8-0 run over the next three minutes to take an 11-point advantage after Blake found Troutman underneath the basket for an easy layup.
Elon kept the Catamounts in check from that point forward, securing the victory and improving to 8-2 inside Alumni Gym this season. Over the last five seasons, Elon is now 30-9 at home.
The Phoenix has a quick turnaround, as its heads to Boone, N.C., on Saturday to face Appalachian State at 2 p.m.