ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball won its fourth straight game on Saturday, Feb. 27, defeating UNCW, 80-77, behind a Kris Wooten three-pointer at the buzzer.
” I thought it was a gutsy performance by both teams tonight,” head coach Mike Schrage began. “For Wilmington to respond after our start, as well as coming back from their pause, was impressive. It was nice to be in a close game and pull it out before March. I thought our guys showed tremendous character. Really proud of all of them and especially Kris. He was deserving of that moment after all he’s been through and his positive attitude throughout. We are excited to keep building and to compete as long as we can.”
– With less than 10 seconds to play in the game and the score tied 77-77, Hunter Woods intercepted a UNCW pass and dished the ball ahead to Ikenna Ndugba. Ndugba took a few dribbles and found Kris Wooten running down the sideline and open for three. Wooten did the rest, drilling a catch-and-shoot three at the buzzer to give the Phoenix a three-point win.
– Elon came out of the gates on fire, jumping out to a 23-4 lead, including a 17-1 run to open the game. Darius Burford and Hunter McIntosh starred during the burst, scoring a combined 21 of the Phoenix’s first 23 points. The spurt put the Phoenix on top by 19 with just under 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
– Despite Elon going up by as much as 23 on the strength of a 9-0 run, UNCW fought back and cut the deficit down to as little as eight with 49 second left in the first half. The Phoenix would enter the break leading, 45-34, after Ndugba hit his lone three of the day just before halftime.
– After an early second half run saw UNCW up by one, a quick 7-3 spurt gave the Phoenix a three-point lead with less than 14 minutes remaining in the game. Both sides would battle from there before a three-point play by UNCW tied the game at 77 with less than a minute to play.
– Darius Burford led the way for the Phoenix, posting 23 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals in a career-high 37 minutes of action.
– Hunter McIntosh added 17 points and five rebounds, knocking down three triples along the way.
– Ikenna Ndugba chipped in 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the win.
– Kris Wooten scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three, including the game-winning shot at the buzzer.
– Elon held a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers and a 25-11 advantage in bench points.
– Following tonight’s win, Elon has now won four consecutive games to close a season for the first time since 2002-03. This also marks the first time in Division I program history that the Phoenix has won three straight road games to end the regular season.
Elon will prepare for the upcoming CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament beginning on March 6, in Harrisonburg, Va.