ELON, N.C. – Triad rivals and former conference foes meet on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 19, inside Alumni Gym as the Elon University men’s basketball team takes on the UNCG Spartans.
Tip time for the matchup between the Phoenix and Spartans is set for 1 p.m. and it is the first game of an Elon men’s and women’s doubleheader. Tickets can be purchased through the Elon Ticket Office. Fans who purchase a ticket to the men’s game are invited to stay as the Elon women’s basketball team takes on High Point at 3:30 p.m., or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the men’s contest.
The game will broadcasted live on Phoenix All-Access with Matt Krause and men’s basketball alum Adam Constantine on the call. You can also listen to the game live on WSML 104.5 FM/1200 AM with Taylor Durham and John Roddey on the Elon IMG Sports Network. Pre-game coverage on WSML in Alumni Gym begins at 12:30 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
Four Phoenix scored in doubles figures and the Elon University men’s basketball team used 18 3-pointers to defeat Alabama State, 91-74, Dec. 16 at Alumni Gym.
Tanner Samson finished with a game-high 22 points on 6-for-9 shooting from 3-point range. Luke Eddy had a season-high 18 points and nine assists, while Christian Hairston and Tyler Seibring chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Samson scored each of Elon’s first 12 points on four 3-pointers in the game’s first 2:10, and the Phoenix led 14-0 before a Steve Rogers free throw got the Hornets on the scoreboard. The Phoenix made 18 3-pointers in the game and finished with a 44.8 percent shooting mark from the field.
THE TRIAD RIVALRY
Saturday, Dec. 19, will be the 39th all-time meeting between Elon and UNCG and 19th with the Phoenix at home. Head coach Matt Matheny has an 11-1 record against the Spartans, including 11-straight victories over the Triad rival spanning over the past six seasons. Elon defeated the UNCG Spartans, 71-64, last season on Dec. 20, 2014 at Greensboro Coliseum. Elon’s las loss to UNCG was during the 2009-10 season on Jan. 28, 2010 in Greensboro as the Spartans claimed the 62-55 win.
Both Elon and UNCG used to be Southern Conference (SoCon) foes during Elon’s 13 years in the league. This will be the second time since Elon left the SoCon that the two foes will face each other. The teams met 24 times while facing each other in the SoCon. It will be the only matchup against a SoCon team this season for Elon. The Phoenix was in the SoCon for 13 years before joining the CAA for the 2014-15 season.
MATHENY 7TH ALL-TIME
Now in his seventh season with the Phoenix, coach Matheny earned his 99th career win at Elon against Alabama State on Wednesday, closing in on his 100th career win. With a win on Saturday, coach Matheny would be the seventh coach in program history to reach the century mark in wins. Matheny is in sole possession of seventh on the all-time coaching wins list in program history ahead of Horace Hendrickson’s (1937-42) 93 career wins. He is just two wins away from tying Bill Morningstar (1979-86), who is sixth all-time with 101 career victories. Mark Simons (1993-2003) is currently fifth all-time with 109 victories.
LET IT FLY
This season, 39.4 percent of Elon’s made baskets have come from behind the 3-point line. The Phoenix is shooting 35.2 percent from deep and are averaging a CAA-best 11.1 triples a game. Elon’s 18 3-pointers against the Alabama State Hornets on Dec. 16 was the most a Phoenix team has made in a game during the coach Matheny era. Samson has a team-high 36 made treys this season, while Dainan Swoope is right behind him with 27. A total of nine Phoenix have made a bucket from deep this season.
304 AND COUNTING
The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 304 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). The Phoenix currently average 11.1 made 3-pointers a game this season. 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.
Tanner Samson became Elon’s all-time leader in career triples against FIU on, Dec. 4. The senior currently has 278 made 3-pointers. He surpassed Jack Isenbarger who had 264 made treys in his career. Samson became the program’s 39th 1,000-point scorer after scoring 23 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday, Nov. 27. His 725 career three-point attempts is the most in program history. He surpassed Isenbarger’s 721 on Wednesday vs. Alabama State.
Elon’s freshmen have made an impact to start the 2015-16 season scoring just over 34 percent of Phoenix points to start the year. 286 of the team’s 829 points have been scored by a freshmen, which includes 122 from Dainan Swoope, 77 from Steven Santa Ana, Tyler Seibring has tabbed 68 and Karolis Kundrotas has scored 17. Sheldon Eberhardt scored his first-career basket on Dec. 13 against Wesley College scoring two points in the final six minutes.
Elon will be back on the road next week. The trip begins with with a matchup at UNC Asheville on Monday, Dec. 21, for a 7 p.m. tip before Christmas. After a short break for the holidays, the Phoenix will head to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday, Dec. 28, to take on the Duke Blue Devils for an 8 p.m. tip on ESPNU.