TOWSON, Md. – Offensive struggles plagued the Elon University men’s basketball team in a 57-53 setback at Towson on Monday night, Jan. 5, in Colonial Athletic Association action from SECU Arena.
After shooting lights out from three at Drexel two nights ago, Elon (9-6, 1-1 CAA) was held to 3-of-16 (18 percent) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Phoenix struggled from the charity stripe as well, shooting a season low 52.6 percent (10-of-19) at the line.
The Phoenix managed to erase an 18-point deficit and take a two-point lead in the second half, but Towson (8-7, 1-1 CAA) tied it and regained a lead it would not relinquish on the next two possessions to hold on for the win.
“Towson came out hot and aggressive and we let it snowball a little bit early,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “Our motion offense just wasn’t very good tonight and we didn’t get very many clean looks. Towson did a good job of defending us in transition. We fought hard after being in a tough situation early and we have a great core about us, so that’s a great thing and it makes it a joy to coach.”
Elon committed a season low nine turnovers on the night and hauled down 13 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points.
Three scored in double figures on the night, as CAA Co-Player and Rookie of the Week Elijah Bryant ended the night with a team-best 12 points. Samson and Ryan Winters added 11 and 10, respectively.
Trailing 26-8 with 7:44 remaining in the first half, the Phoenix responded with a 14-0 run over the next six minutes to climb back in the game and limit the Tigers to a 26-22 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
Elon trailed by six, 28-22, at halftime after a subpar 7-of-21 shooting performance from the floor, including a 1-of-6 clip from deep.
Samson gave the Phoenix its first lead of the game with 12:38 to play after nailing a corner three to make it a 38-36 game.
Towson responded on the next two possessions, as back-to-back baskets by Mike Morsell gave the Tigers a 40-38 advantage. The Tigers held on to the lead from that point forward, as Elon pulled no closer than two points down the stretch.
Elon makes its CAA home debut on Thursday night, Jan. 8, against William & Mary. Tip is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be carried live on the American Sports Network.