ELON, N.C. – A rivalry that began in the 1970s renews on Wednesday night in Wilmington, as the Elon men’s basketball team preps for its first CAA meeting with UNCW. Tip time is 7 p.m. at Trask Coliseum. Fans can watch the game live on CAA.tv.
ELON VS. UNCW: Wednesday marks the 12th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Seahawks. Elon leads the series, 6-5. The last meeting between the two schools was Nov. 29, 2009, when UNCW claimed an 86-56 win over Elon in Matt Matheny’s first season. Elon is 3-3 versus the Seahawks in games played in Wilmington. The Phoenix closes the regular season against the Seahawks in Alumni Gym on Feb. 28.
LOOKING BACK: Austin Hamilton scored a career-high 31 points and led five Phoenix players in double figures in a 94-82 win over reigning CAA Tournament champion Delaware on Jan. 24 at Alumni Gym. Hamilton connected on 10-of-13 from the floor, including 6-of-9 from deep, to help the Phoenix snap a four-game losing skid. Elon’s 94 points against the Blue Hens are the most against a league foe since a 99-point output against UNCG on Feb. 19, 2011.
ELON IN JANUARY: Heading into Wednesday’s game, Elon has a 22-28 record in the month of January under head coach Matt Matheny. In January road games, Elon is 9-17 under Matheny.
FREEBIES: Elon’s 25 made free throws against Delaware on Jan. 24 are the most in a game since the Phoenix knocked down 27 against Western Carolina on Feb. 16, 2013.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: Elon held Towson to a 9.1 percent clip (1-of-11) from three on Jan. 22, marking the lowest three-point percentage by an opponent since Marist went 0-for-14 from three against the Phoenix last season on Nov. 10, 2013. It ties the lowest percentage Elon has ever held a league foe to at the Division I level since the Phoenix held College of Charleston to a 9.1 percent mark (2-of-22 from three) on Feb. 5, 2009, in Charleston, S.C.
40-PERCENT MARK: Elon has an 11-1 record this season when it shoots 40+ percent from the floor. The Phoenix is 0-9 when it shoots below 40 percent.
CAREER DAY FOR HAMILTON: Austin Hamilton scored a career-high 31 points vs. Delaware on Jan. 24, draining six threes in the win. Hamilton joins Elijah Bryant as the only other Phoenix player to score 30+ in a game this season. Hamilton is the first Elon player to score 30+ points in Alumni Gym since Jack Isenbarger scored 34 on Feb. 4, 2012, vs. The Citadel.
READY FOR LIFTOFF: When it’s all said and done, the Phoenix will have traveled a total of 17,415 miles on the road this season via flight and bus. Elon’s longest trip was a 5,764-mile round-trip to Cancun, Mexico. The team’s shortest trip was a 44-mile round-trip to the Greensboro Coliseum.
FROM DEEP: Tanner Samson sits at 204 threes in his career entering Wednesday’s game, good for fifth in school history. With one more triple, Samson will pass Scottie Rice for fourth in school history. The Littleton, Colo., native trails only Jack Isenbarger (264), Chris Kiger (259), Sebastian Koch (242) and Rice (204) in career threes. Samson leads the CAA in threes with 65 (9th nationally).
282 AND COUNTING: The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 282 consecutive games. The last time Elon did not make a three in a game was Jan. 30, 2006, at Georgia Southern when the team went 0-of-14 from deep.
FIRST-YEAR SUCCESS: Rookie guard Elijah Bryant is leading all CAA freshmen in scoring at 13.7 points per game. Bryant has been tabbed CAA Rookie of the Week four times this season and garnered player of the week honors once.
HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY: The 2014-15 season marks the sixth year at Elon for head coach Matt Matheny. Matheny enters Wednesday’s game with a career record of 88-92. 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.