ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball used a second-half surge to tied it up late 73-73 with 2:41 remaining against the preseason favorite Hofsta, but the Pride held on for the 80-76 victory on Saturday, Jan. 9, inside Alumni Gym.
Elon (11-6, 2-2 CAA) was led by Tanner Samson who scored 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range. Christian Hairston recorded his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Tyler Seibring also finished in double-figures with 16 points, including 10 in the second half.
The Pride (11-5, 3-1 CAA) had four players finish in double-figures. Hofstra was led by Rokas Gustys, who finished with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Juan’Ya Green’s tallied 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against the Phoenix.
Samson got off to a hot start scoring nine of Elon’s first 13 points to give the Phoenix a 13-9 lead at the 16:38 mark. Hofstra mounted a 21-4 run over the next 5:01 to take its largest lead of the game 30-17 with 11:16 left in the half.
The Phoenix cut back into Hofstra’s lead, making it a two-point game 32-30 at the 4:27 mark, but the Pride outscored Elon 11-5 over the final minutes of the half to take a 43-35 lead into the locker room.
Coming out of the halftime break, Elon roared back to take the lead 51-50, using a 14-7 spark capped off by an Eddy layup at the 11:44 mark. Over the next 4:52, there were six lead changes and Hofstra tied it up 62-62 with 6:22 left in the contest.
Hofstra went on a 5-0 run in 1:16 to create a small cushion with 4:41 remaining. Undaunted, Elon grinded its way back into the game, capped off by a clutch three from Samson with 2:41 left to tie the game 73-73.
The Pride made two big layups, outscored Elon 7-3 in the final minutes and the Phoenix couldn’t convert on opportunities down the stretch as Hofstra held on for the 80-76 victory.
– Samson is now one made 3-pointer shy of becoming the first Elon player to reach 300 makes for a career. He finished with seven triples tonight.
– Hairston recorded his third double-double of the season, and the fourth of his career.
– For the second-consecutive game, Elon held one of the CAA’s top-three 3-point shooting teams to below their average. The Phoenix held Hofstra to six threes in the game. The Pride were averaging 9.3 triples a game heading into the contest.
Elon has a CAA home and road split next week. It begins with a home game on Thursday, Jan. 14 vs. UNCW at Alumni Gym. Then the Phoenix hits the road for a contest at College of Charleston on Saturday, Jan. 16. The game begins at 4 p.m. and will be broadcasted WMMP.