Elon MBB Hosts CAA Leader Northeastern on Thursday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team plays its first of two remaining regular season games on Thursday night, Feb. 26, when it welcomes Colonial Athletic Association leader Northeastern to Alumni Gym. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. Watch the game live on Phoenix All-Access.

ELON VS. NORTHEASTERN: Elon dropped an 80-61 decision at Northeastern on Jan. 31 in Boston in its only other meeting against the Huskies. NU connected on 60 percent from the floor in the game, as the tandem of Scott Eatherton and Zach Stahl combined for 35 points on 16-of-18 shooting.

LOOKING BACK: Kevin Blake nailed a career-high five threes, all in the second half, to lead Elon to an 83-75 overtime victory at Delaware on Feb. 21. Blake finished with a team-high 18 points to lead four Phoenix players in double figures. Tanner Samson and Austin Hamilton scored 16 points, while Elijah Bryant ended the day with 10 points.

BRYANT HONORED: Elijah Bryant earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors for the fifth time this season on Feb. 23. Bryant had a strong all-around week, averaging 15.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as Elon split a pair of road games. The freshman guard narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points, a team-high nine rebounds and five assists in an 83-75 overtime win at Delaware on Feb. 21. Bryant contributed 20 points and three steals against College of Charleston three days prior on Feb. 18. Bryant has scored double figures in 23 of Elon’s 29 contests. He is averaging 15.0 points per game against league opponents this season.

BEYOND THE ARC: With four threes at Delaware on Feb. 21, Tanner Samson now sits at 92 threes this season, good for first in the CAA (fifth nationally). Samson leads the CAA and ranks third nationally in three-point attempts with 254 – the most in a single season in school history. The previous record for three-point attempts in a season was 238 by Isenbarger in 2012-13. Samson currently sits at 231 career triples, good for fourth in program history. He trails Sebastian Koch (242), Chris Kiger (259) and Isenbarger (264) on the career chart.

CLIMBING THE CAA CHARTS: With one more three, Tanner Samson will tie William & Mary’s Marcus Thornton (2012-13, 2013-14) and Towson’s Gary Neal (2006-07) for 10th place in CAA history for threes in a season with 93. Samson’s 254 three-point attempts this season are the sixth most in CAA single-season history. Samson needs five threes to pass JMU’s Julius Wells (2009-10) for sixth in league history.

NINE DIMES: Austin Hamilton’s nine assists tie a career-high mark set on New Year’s Eve in 2012 against Manchester. Hamilton enters Thursday’s game with 273 career assists. He is 17 away from passing Steven Harvin for 10th in program history in career assists.

5+ THREES IN A GAME: Tanner Samson has made five or more threes in a game six times this season and 10 times overall in his career. Samson made six threes in Elon’s last game on Feb. 18 at CofC. The Elon record for threes in a game is nine by Sebastian Koch. Koch hit nine at 21st-ranked Colorado on Dec. 13, 2013. Samson came one shy of Koch’s mark earlier this season when he hit eight at Northwestern.

AHEAD AT THE HALF: Elon has been in the lead at halftime nine times this season and has won eight of those contests. Conversely, the Phoenix is 4-16 when trailing at intermission.

ELON IN FEBRUARY: Going into Thursday’s game against Northeastern, Elon has a 25-23 mark in the month of February under head coach Matt Matheny. Last year, Elon went 7-1 in February.

SENIOR CLASS: Elon’s senior class of Austin Hamilton, Kevin Blake and Ryan Winters have posted a total of 66 wins – the second most by a senior class during Elon’s Division I era. Last year’s senior class of Ryley Beaumont, Jack Isenbarger, Sebastian Koch, Lucas Troutman and Egheosa Edomwonyi finished with 68 wins over four years.

290 AND COUNTING: The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 290 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.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Elon has forced at least 12 turnovers in 25 of its 29 games this season. Elon forced a season-high 21 turnovers against Charlotte on Nov. 16. The Phoenix forced 19 turnovers on Jan. 3 at Drexel, the most against a league opponent this season.

40-PERCENT MARK: Elon has a 12-7 record this season when it shoots 40+ percent from the floor. The Phoenix is 0-10 when it shoots below 40 percent.

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.

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 89-99. 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.