ELON REPORT followed by HPU REPORT
ELON OUTLASTS HIGH POINT, 76-75, IN SATURDAY AFTERNOON THRILLER
ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball fought back from an 11-point second half deficit to defeat High Point, 76-75, on Saturday, Nov. 28.
“Competitive game much like last year when we played at their place,” head coach Mike Schrage opened. “I think they were fortunate enough to win last year and we were fortunate enough to win today. Just proud of the guys. We’re still learning how to win again. Last year’s group learned how to win at the end of the year, so this year’s group is still in that process. We’re going to go through some growing pains but to end with a W instead of an L is a big thing.”
– After a back and forth first half saw the Phoenix down by 11 with 5:30 left before the break, Simon Wright scored his first points of the game to spark a quick 5-0 Elon burst that brought them within six.
– Trailing by nine with just over two minutes remaining in the opening half, four quick points from Jerald Gillens-Butler and Hunter Woods cut the deficit to six. Darius Burford added three points of his own during the 7-1 spurt.
– With less than 12 minutes to play in the contest and Elon down by 11, Kris Wooten’s momentum changing three gave the Phoenix life. Culminating in a Hunter McIntosh long-ball, the 12-2 Elon run cut High Point’s lead to one with just over eight minutes left.
– Down 73-70 with less than a minute remaining, McIntosh drilled a deep three to tie the game. After a quick basket from High Point put the Panthers back on top, McIntosh stepped to the line and knocked down the game clinching free throws with three seconds on the clock. Elon secured the 76-75 win with a stop on defense the next possession.
– McIntosh led the way for the Phoenix, posting 21 points and two assists, while knocking down five threes for the second consecutive game.
– Gillens-Butler chipped in 16 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
– Federico Poser followed up a strong season opener with 12 points and five rebounds for Elon.
-The Phoenix held a 14-4 advantage in fast break points and a 17-5 advantage in second chance points.
-The win moves the Phoenix to 2-0 on the year.
Elon will be back at home on Thursday, Dec. 3, to take on Mercer. That matchup is slated for 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on FloSports.
High Point Drops Heartbreaker to Elon
Site: Elon, N.C. (Schar Center)
Score: Elon 76, High Point 75
Records: High Point (0-2), 0-0 Big South), Elon (2-0, 0-0 CAA)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, December 5th vs North Florida, 2:00 PM
Elon, N.C. – The High Point University men’s basketball team dropped a close one to Elon 76-75 on the road on Saturday (Nov 28.) evening. Tonight’s game mirrored the overtime contest between the two teams a year ago as Elon took the lead with three seconds to go and won dramatically. John-Michael Wright led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points on the night. Emmanuel Izunabor stepped up in a big way for HPU dropping a career-high 16 points.
“Once again, we just could not seem to hold the lead there, even though I thought we did some good things during the entire game,” Coach Tubby Smith said. “On the road against a pretty talented team in Elon, I thought for the most part we played good defense. Second chance points have been killing us, against Davidson it was something like 19-5 today it was 17-5 with none more important than that last offensive rebound that they got and scored off of. Then we ran a poor last-second play at the end, it just was not executed the right way but it’s early yet. We had great effort out of Emmanuel, Manny played great. We had a good effort out of John-Michael. I thought we had the game under control for a while, they made some big shots, big threes to get themselves back in the game, we did a poor job of defending the three in the latter part of the game and giving up that rebound at the end really hurt.”
High Point used an 8-0 run early in the first half to create space between themselves and the Phoenix. Izunabor played a big role in the run opening the action with an emphatic dunk to shift the momentum in favor of the Panthers. The slam dislodged part of the net out of the rim and caused a minor delay for repair. Izunabor rattled off eight points over about six minutes in the first half. Izunabor recorded a career-high in points with 16, a career-best for free throws made with eight, and played the most minutes of his career thus far with 26:37 logged for the Purple and White.
HPU led 21-18 with 8:08 left and went on a 13-7 run to extend the High Point the lead to 34-25. During the run Bryson Childress recorded his first collegiate points on a three-pointer, Caden Sanchez immediately complimented that with a three of his own for a quick six points. The Phoenix hung around in the latter parts of the first half and stormed back to bring the Panther lead to the three. High Point led 37-34 at the break.
For the first five minutes of the second half, HPU and Elon exchanged the lead back and forth, with 15 to go the Panthers made their move. Wright got hot in the second half for the second game in a row and powered a 12-2 run for HPU. The sophomore scored ten of twelve points in the run, draining two threes as well.
The Phoenix answered with a 15-4 run of their own to bring the score even at 58 with seven minutes remaining. It became clear that the two sides were picking up where they left off from a year ago and a classic finish could be in store. An Izunabor dunk and four made free throws over the final ten minutes demonstrated again the massive role he played in the game.
In the final minutes of the game, the Panthers continued to earn trips to the free-throw line with the Phoenix in the bonus. Trailing by one with 2:24 to play Wright was fouled and made both free throws, after a stop, Izunabor was fouled and went to the line made both free throws, and put HPU up three. The Phoenix came down and hit a three to tie the game at 73. With 39 seconds left Wright found Lydell Elmore for a monster slam to put HPU up 75-73.
(Lydell’s dunk) “It was huge because we were tied at the time and Lydell, that’s what he does”, Coach Smith said. “He is a very athletic guy, our big men played great today.”
Elon came down and split free throws to find themselves down one 75-74. After a missed High Point free throw on a one-one Hunter McIntosh came down and hit both free throws to go up 76-75. Denny Slay II’s half-court heave did with three seconds left did not go and Elon won 76-75.
Up Next: The Panthers return home to the Millis Center to host the Ospreys of North Florida on Saturday, December at 2:00 PM.