WASHINGTON, D.C. – Elon University men’s basketball defeated No. 2 seeded William & Mary, 68-63, on Sunday, March 8, to advance to the semi-final round of the 2020 CAA Tournament. The Phoenix led wire-to-wire and became just the fifth seventh seed in CAA history to defeat a second seed in the CAA tournament.
With the win, Elon moves on to the semi-final round of the CAA Tournament to face sixth seeded Northeastern on Monday, March 9, at 8:30 p.m. This marks the first time in program history that the Phoenix has advanced to the semi finals of the CAA Tournament. Fans are reminded that prior to tomorrow’s game, the Phoenix Club will be hosting a pregame social at the Mission – Navy Yard at 5:30 p.m. Those interested in attending can register here.
“We were really confident going into this game,” head coach Mike Schrage stated. “We felt like we had two close games with them this season and have been in position to beat pretty much anyone in our conference this year. As the seasons gone on we have just continued to get better and better and that’s attributed to our guys. We knew we had to start out really strong tonight and throw that first punch. Our guys did that tonight. We stayed resilient and stayed positive throughout, so I’m just really proud of the whole team tonight.”
Trailing by as much as 14 in the second half, the Tribe stormed back to cut the Phoenix’s lead down to 60-58 with 2:38 remaining in the game. From there, Federico Poser swung the momentum back in Elon’s favor by converting on an and-one opportunity that pushed the lead back to five. Shortly after, William & Mary knocked down a three to make the score 63-61. The next trip down the floor, Hunter McIntosh drilled a clutch triple of his own to effectively close the door on William & Mary’s comeback attempt. Sheffield’s two free throws with 16 seconds remaining secured a 68-63 victory for the Phoenix.
Elon came out of the gates firing to open the game, jumping out to a 13-2 lead in the first 3:33 of the contest. Hunter Woods recorded the first field goal of the contest, draining a deep three on an assist from Marcus Sheffield to ignite the burst. After William & Mary knocked down two free throws to make the score 5-2 at the 18:09 mark, Sheffield exploded for eight straight points, including two threes, to give Elon a 13-2 advantage. The Phoenix used the early run to build an early advantage in a game in which it never trailed.
After William & Mary cut Elon’s lead down to four with 2:51 remaining in the first half, Woods and Hunter McIntosh connected on back-to-back threes to push the lead back to 10. The Phoenix’s stifling defense held the Tribe to just one point in the final two and a half minutes of the opening half and allowed Elon to enter the break with a 40-31 lead.
Woods led the way for the Phoenix, scoring 20 points and grabbing a program record-tying 15 rebounds in the win. Woods is averaging 17.5 points and 11 rebounds in two CAA tournament games this season.
Sheffield scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, while McIntosh logged 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Poser rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Phoenix, dropping 11 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots on the evening.
William & Mary was led by Nathan Knight, who supplied 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Tribe. Andy Van Vliet scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the loss.
– With tonight’s win, Elon moves on to face No. 6 seed Northeastern tomorrow night in the semi-finals of the 2020 CAA Tournament.
– Elon’s win over the Tribe secured its most wins in a single CAA Tournament in program history.
– The Phoenix had four players score in double-figures
– Sheffield’s 19 points tonight marked his 22nd consecutive double-digit scoring outing, and his 30th overall this season.
– After scoring 12 points tonight, McIntosh picked up his 19th double-figure scoring outing this season and second in the tournament.
– Woods scored 20 points tonight to secure his 17th game scoring double-digits this season. Woods has led the Phoenix in scoring and rebounding in both games of the tournament.
– Poser secured his fourth 10+ point game this season after posting 11 points in tonight’s win.
– Elon led for 38:54 of a possible 40 minutes, never trailed in the game and held the Tribe to 8-of-23 shooting from beyond the arc.
– Elon held a 37-35 advantage in rebounding and a 15-11 advantage in assists.
– Tonight’s win marks the first time this season that Elon has defeated William & Mary.
– The Phoenix knocked down 13 threes in the contest, finishing the game with a 43.3 percent clip from long distance
– Woods 15 rebounds tonight tied a program record
Elon returns to action on Monday, March 9, to continue the 2020 CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament against No. 6 Northeastern. That matchup is slated for 8:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C., and will be streamed broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.