BALTIMORE – The Elon University men’s basketball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end in the quarterfinals of the 2015 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship, as the eighth-seeded Phoenix dropped a 72-59 decision to top-seeded William & Mary on Saturday, March 7, at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.
Elon finishes the season with a 15-18 record. The Tribe improves to 19-11 and advances to tomorrow’s semifinals game against either James Madison or Hofstra.
The Phoenix put three in double figures led by Austin Hamilton’s 13-point day on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor. Elijah Bryant and Tanner Samson finished with 12 and 11, respectively.
Elon could not find an answer for a hot-shooting W&M squad that connected on 52 percent overall from the floor, including an 11-of-29 (38 percent) clip from deep.
CAA Player of the Year Marcus Thornton gave the Tribe a 10-point cushion at halftime, as the senior drilled a deep three as the buzzer sounded to put the Phoenix down, 36-26. Thornton led all players with 17 points.
Elon could not overcome six first-half threes by W&M, as the Tribe shot 50 percent overall from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Samson helped pull Elon back within five points in the early stages of the second half after connecting on back-to-back triples to make it a 40-35 game. However, the junior guard picked up his fourth foul on the next possession and was forced to come out of the game.
William & Mary answered quickly, taking an 11-point lead with 14:49 remaining and forcing an Elon timeout after Omar Prewitt tripled from the corner to make it a 46-35 game. Prewitt finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor.
Elon managed to pull back within 11 points later in the period, but the hot-handed Tribe kept the maroon and gold at arm’s length for the duration of the contest.
Today marked the final game for three seniors – Austin Hamilton, Kevin Blake and Ryan Winters. The trio finishes their career with 69 wins – the most by a senior class in program history during the school’s Division I era.