Elon MBB Hosts William & Mary in CAA Home Debut

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team hosts its first Colonial Athletic Association match-up on Thursday night, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. against William & Mary. The game will be televised on the American Sports Network.

ELON VS. WILLIAM & MARY: Thursday marks the sixth all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Tribe. William & Mary has won all five of the previous meetings. The last time the two schools met was Dec. 22, 1998, when the Tribe claimed a 101-69 decision at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

FOR THE FOURTH TIME: Elijah Bryant earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the fourth time this season on Jan. 5, in addition to being named CAA Co-Player of the Week with Northeastern’s T.J. Williams. Bryant scored a career-best 32 points at Drexel on Jan. 3, going 10-of-20 from the floor and 9-of-10 at the free throw line.

CAREER DAY: Elijah Bryant’s 32 points at Drexel on Jan. 3 are the most by an Elon player since Jack Isenbarger’s 34 vs. The Citadel on Feb. 4, 2012. Bryant is the first Phoenix player with 10 or more field goals in a game since Lucas Troutman had 11 in Elon’s overtime win at Davidson last season.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following Thursday’s game against the Tribe, Elon remains home for its next two contests against Hofstra (Jan. 10) and College of Charleston (Jan. 14).

HOME SWEET HOME: Elon’s win over Marist on Dec. 28 improved its Alumni Gym record versus non-conference foes over the last four seasons to 18-5.

FROM DEEP: With one three-point make at Towson, Tanner Samson now sits at 187 in his career, good for sixth in school history. The junior from Littleton, Colo., ranks first in the CAA in threes made with 48 (11th nationally) and three-point attempts with 129 (sixth nationally).

DEFENDING THE THREE: Elon leads the CAA and ranks 37th nationally in three-point field goal defense, holding the opposition to 28.8 percent from deep this season.

HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: The 2014-15 season marks the sixth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters Thursday’s game with a career record of 86-88. Matheny was voted by the Southern Conference media as the Coach of the Year in 2012-13 and was a finalist for CollegeInsider.com’s Hugh Durham award, which honors the nation’s top mid-major coach.

ROAD TO BALTIMORE: The 2015 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship is scheduled for March 6-9 in Baltimore, Md., at Royal Farms Arena. Last year, Delaware topped William & Mary, 75-74, in the championship game to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.