WASHINGTON, D.C. – Elon University men’s basketball won its first CAA Tournament game since 2015 by defeating James Madison, 63-61, behind a Marcus Sheffield game-winner on Saturday, March 7.
With the win, Elon moves on to the quarterfinal round of the 2020 CAA Tournament to face No. 2 seed William & Mary on Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. This marks the Phoenix’s first conference tournament win since 2015, and just the second post-season win for the program since joining the CAA. Fans are reminded that prior to tomorrow’s game, the Phoenix Club will be hosting a pregame social at the Mission – Navy Yard. Those interested in attending can register here.
“I knew we’d get their best shot,” head coach Mike Schrage stated. “It’s a new lease on life for all these teams and they have such a talented team over there I knew it’d be a battle. They hit some tough shots early and you could tell it gave them a ton of confidence, but we just tried to keep our guys up. All year we’ve been battling and coming back so even when we fell behind early, we just tried to keep them in that same mindset. For us to continue to fight the way we did, I felt really good about the way the guys battled tonight.”
With the score tied at 61-61 with 23 seconds remaining in the game, Sheffield stepped back and drilled a mid-range jumper to give the Phoenix a two-point lead with three seconds to play. Sheffield’s jumper capped a 10-1 Phoenix run to end the game. Also on the burst, Kris Wooten drained back-to-back threes to bring Elon within two points of JMU with 1:39 in the contest. Moments later, Sheffield got free on an inbounds play and streaked to the bucket for a thunderous dunk that tied the game at 61.
Trailing by eight with 16:34 to play in the second half, Sheffield drove to the lane, drew contact and converted the hoop plus the harm to spark a 10-2 Elon run. The next trip down the floor, Federico Poser knocked down a tough layup to bring the Phoenix back within three. After a quick bucket by JMU pushed their lead back to five, Sheffield drilled his first three pointer of the evening to trim Elon’s deficit to two. Moments later, Poser dropped in a hook shot to tie the game at 41-41 with 14:24 remining in the contest.
After falling behind 14-0 early in the first half, Poser scored the Phoenix’s first points of the game after a pretty up-and-under move with just under 15 minutes to play in the opening half. From there, five quick points from Hunter Woods, including a long three with 14:22 remaining before the break, trimmed JMU’s lead to seven. Poser capped the 9-0 run with another tough bucket that brought Elon within five with 12:30 to play in the first half.
Both sides traded scores over the final 10 minutes of the first half, but JMU entered the break leading 34-28.
Sheffield led the way for the Phoenix, dropping 10 points, six rebounds and four assists, including the game-winning shot with three seconds remaining. Woods added 15 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while playing all 40 minutes for the Phoenix.
McIntosh logged 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Wooten scored 10 points, including six in the final 2:22 of the game. Poser rounded out the scoring for the Phoenix, matching a career-high with 14 points.
James Madison was led by Matt Lewis, who supplied 17 points and three rebounds on the evening. Dwight Wilson added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Dukes in the loss.
– With tonight’s win, Elon moves on to face No. 2 seed William & Mary tomorrow night in round two of the 2020 CAA Tournament.
– Elon’s victory secured its first win in the CAA Tournament since 2015.
– The Phoenix had five players score in double-figures
– Sheffield’s 10 points tonight marked his 21st consecutive double-digit scoring outing, and his 29th overall this season.
– After scoring 12 points tonight, McIntosh picked up his 18th double-figure scoring outing this season.
– Woods scored 15 points tonight to secure his 16th game scoring double-digits this season.
– Poser secured his third 10+ point game this season after scoring a career-high 14 points in tonight’s win.
– Wooten posted his second double-figure scoring game this year, dropping 10 points in the victory.
– Elon held a 17-11 advantage in points off turnovers and an 14-8 advantage in bench points.
– The Phoenix held the Dukes to 18.8 percent shooting from three-point range, the second lowest percentage Elon has allowed this season.
Elon returns to action on Sunday, March 8, to continue the 2020 CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament against William & Mary. That matchup is slated for 6:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C., and will be streamed live on FloSports.