OXFORD, Ohio – Kevin Blake’s tap-in with 0.7 seconds left helped the Elon University men’s basketball team pick up a thrilling 70-68 road win at Miami (Ohio) on Sunday, Nov. 30, at Millett Hall.
Following a Luke Eddy missed jumper with about three seconds left on the clock, Blake exploded through the lane to snatch the miss and tap it in for the go-ahead score, giving the Phoenix a two-point lead, 70-68, with less than one second remaining.
Miami’s three-quarters-court heave was no good as the final buzzer sounded, as the Phoenix captured yet another close call win in the Cancun Challenge. Three of Elon’s four games in the tournament were decided by two points or less.
“We had great play from a lot of guys today,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “If anyone has ever dominated play in only eight minutes, Kevin Blake did that today. He was sensational after being in some early foul trouble in the first half. We’ve been through a lot and battled through some adversity since we got on the plane to go to Northwestern last week, and it feels good to come away with a win today.”
Eddy finished the game with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including a 3-of-6 clip from deep. His three-pointer with 1:26 remaining gave the Phoenix a four-point cushion late.
Elijah Bryant continued his streak of scoring in double figures, as the rookie finished with 10 points. Bryant has been in double figures in all six of Elon’s games this season.
Dmitri Thompson added nine points, while Austin Hamilton finished with eight. Blake and Tanner Samson ended the day with six points each, as Samson hauled down a team-high seven boards.
In the first half, after forcing a RedHawks timeout with 11:47 to play, the Phoenix took a 10-point lead on a 7-0 run when a Thompson triple from the top of the key made it a 16-6 game.
Elon took a 30-26 lead into the locker room at the break, as the Phoenix limited the RedHawks to 33 percent shooting in the opening frame and forced the opposition into 11 turnovers. Miami ended the game with 16 miscues on offense that led to 16 points for Elon.
The maroon and gold forced Miami into an early timeout in the second session after a Blake slash to the rim gave Elon a 37-30 lead with 16:21 to play.
But Miami tied the game with 10:05 to play after an old-fashioned three-point play by Chris Bryant knotted it a 47-all. The RedHawks forced an Elon timeout minutes later after completing a 7-0 run to take a 51-47 advantage with 8:38 to play.
Elon answered minutes later with an 8-0 run, as Eddy completed a three-point play after driving to the basket for the layup and foul, sinking the free throw, to give the Phoenix a 57-56 lead.
The game saw a total of five more lead changes from that point forward, as Elon claimed the final basket of the game to secure the win.
Bryant finished with nine points for Miami and was a terror on the boards with 11 rebounds, including six on offense. Geovonie McKnight scored a team-best 14 for the Redhawks.
Elon, now 3-3 on the year, returns home on Dec. 2 to face the Virginia University of Lynchburg Dragons at 7 p.m. at Alumni Gym.