ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team heads to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face off against nationally ranked No. 10/15 Duke for the fourth consecutive season on Monday, Dec. 21, for an 8 p.m. tip on ESPNU.
Anish Shroff and Cory Alexander will be on the call for the ESPNU broadcast. You can also watch the action live on the WatchESPN app.
Listen to the game live on WSML 104.5 FM/1200 AM with Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger on the call on the Elon IMG Sports Network. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.
Monday will mark the 28th all-time meeting between the Elon Phoenix and Duke Blue Devils since the series started back in 1911.
Elon and Duke will face off for the fifth time in the last six seasons, and fourth at Cameron. The Blue Devils have won seven straight in the series, and have the upper hand in all contests during Elon’s Division I era.
Elon’s last win against Duke was just over 93 years ago on Feb. 6, 1922, where the Fighting Christians won 30-29 over Duke, who was then called Trinity. Last season, No. 2-ranked Duke defeated Elon 75-62 on Dec. 15, 2014 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
ELON VS. THE ACC
The Phoenix have an all-time record of 34-125 record against current ACC members.
The last time Elon defeated one of the current members of the ACC was in 2005 when the Phoenix went on the road to defeat the Oliver Purnell coached Clemson Tigers, 74-69, on December 30, 2005.
Monday’s matchup is Elon’s second game this season against a member of the ACC as they faced off and fell 66-55 to Syracuse on Nov. 21, in the Carrier Dome in a Battle 4 Atlantis mainland game.
Elon’s record against current ACC teams is: Clemson (1-1), Duke (7-20), Florida State (0-1), Georgia Tech (0-3), Miami (1-0), North Carolina (4-18), NC State (8-21), Notre Dame (0-2), Virginia (0-6), Virginia Tech (7-14), Wake Forest (6-38), Syracuse (0-1).
ELON AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Elon’s game at #24 Michigan on Nov. 16 this season marked the program’s 22nd against a nationally ranked team since transitioning to Division I. Elon is 0-22 in those contests.
Last season, Elon’s lone game against a ranked opponent was #2 Duke on Dec. 15, 2014. The Phoenix faced three nationally ranked teams during the 2013-14 year – #7 Duke, #21 Colorado and #15/16 UMass.
Elon’s game against UMass in 2014 at Alumni Gym marked the first time in school history it hosted a nationally ranked team. The 10-point margin of defeat against UMass is the closest Elon has been in any game versus a nationally ranked team.
LAST TIME OUT
In what was a thrilling finish, the Elon University men’s basketball team used clutch free throw shooting and strong defense in the final three minutes to earn a hard-fought 86-81 road victory against UNC Asheville on Monday night, Dec. 21 at Kimmel Arena.
Seven Elon players finished in double figures against the Bulldogs. Elon was paced by Christian Hairston’s third-career double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Tanner Samson and Luke Eddy each finished with a team-high 14 points, Dainan Swoope scored 13, Steven Santa Ana notched 12, and Dmitri Thompson and Tyler Seibring tallied 10 points apiece.
The Phoenix surged out to a 77-72 lead with 3:13 to play following a Seibring 3-pointer. UNC Asheville brought it back within one 78-77 with 1:53 left, but Hairston made a big layup with 1:43 remaining to give Elon an 80-77 cushion.
The Bulldogs failed to make a bucket from behind the arc, but an Elon miss and foul sent the host to the free throw line with 29 seconds remaining. Two free throws by Dylan Smith made it 80-79, but Seibring went to the line and hit two of his own to make it 82-79 with 15 ticks on the clock.
Eddy came up with a huge rebound with five seconds to play and made both free throws. Samson hit another pair with one second left, and the Phoenix held on for the big road win
LET IT FLY
This season, 37.9 percent (129-of-304) of Elon’s made baskets have come from behind the three point line. The Phoenix is shooting 35.4 percent from deep and are averaging a CAA-best 10.8 triples a game, ranked eighth in the NCAA this season.
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. Tanner Samson has a team-high 41 made treys this season, while Dainan Swoope is right behind him with 30. A total of nine Phoenix have made a bucket from deep this season.
Elon is off to its best start in 25 years with a 9-3 overall record. It’s the first time in the program’s Division I era that Elon has won nine of its first 12 games. The last time Elon won at least nine of its first 12 games was the 1990-91 season when the team started 10-2 overall.
Elon’s freshmen have made an impact to start the 2015-16 season scoring 35 percent of Phoenix points to start the year. 319 of the team’s 908 points have been scored by a freshmen, which includes 126 from Dainan Swoope, 90 from Steven Santa Ana, Tyler Seibring has tabbed 81 and Karolis Kundrotas has scored 20. 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 at home on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, Dec. 31, as they host Northeastern to open Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play at Alumni Gym at 2 p.m. The Phoenix play host to Drexel on Jan. 2, 2015 at 4 p.m. on American Sports Network to complete the CAA opening weekend.