Elon (13-14) at Davidson (20-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 23rd, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Belk Arena (5,223) -- Davidson, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Elon 9-4, Davidson 12-2. Away Record: Elon 4-10, Davidson 8-5. Neutral Record: Elon 0-0, Davidson 0-0. Conference Record: Elon 8-8, Davidson 14-2. Series Record: Davidson leads, 34-12.
GAME NOTES: On the verge of wrapping up the regular season, a pair of Southern Conference foes at opposite ends of the spectrum meet on the hardwood tonight in Davidson, when the Wildcats host the Elon Phoenix at Belk Arena.
The Phoenix have stumbled upon hard times as of late, dropping their last four contests to fall under .500 for the second time this season. Elon owns an underwhelming 13-14 overall tally, and suffered a tough 78-76 setback in an overtime verdict against Western Carolina over the weekend that evened the squads mark in SoCon action at 8-8.
As for Davidson, the Wildcats have had much more success in 2011-12, and enter this meeting touting a 20-7 overall ledger. The club has gone 13-3 over its last 16 games, but did suffer a 91-74 home setback to No. 24 Wichita State last Saturday. Still, the Wildcats have won 18 of their last 20 at Belk Arena dating back to last season, and own a SoCon leading 14-2 tally. The team can secure the SoCon South title with a win tonight.
Tonight is the first meeting of the season between the two rivals, but Davidson leads, 34-12, in terms of the all-time series.
Elon dominated the glass (41-27) and shot 50.9 percent from the field against WCU, but ended up on the losing end of a two-point overtime final. The Phoenix made good on just 33.3 percent of their attempts from the floor during the extra session, while the Catamounts converted 11-of-15 free throws. An 11- of-22 effort at the foul line did the Phoenix no favors during the contest, nor did the fact that the squad was guilty of a game-high 24 miscues. Jack Isenbarger scored 22 points to lead the way for Elon, while Lucas Troutman helped pace the club with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ryley Beaumont finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 boards as well for the Phoenix, and Drew Spradlin also netted 11 points. Opponents are averaging 71.9 points per game this season against the Phoenix, who own a respectable 70.6 ppg tally themselves up to this point. Elon is shooting at a 42.0 percent clip as a team, and have had minor success from both long range (35.7 percent) as well as at the foul line (66.9 percent). Isenbarger paces the Phoenix on the year with a 14.0 ppg tally, while Troutman follows with 12.4 points to go with 5.6 rebounds per contest. Austin Hamilton rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers with his 10.2 ppg contribution, and Sebastian Koch rests at the cusp of a double figure tally with 9.5 ppg.
The Wildcats just couldn't keep up with Wichita State during the second half of Saturday's 17-point setback. Davidson trailed just 39-38 heading into the break, but the Shockers exploded in the second frame with an astounding 80.0 percent clip from the field and never looked back. Davidson allowed WSU to shoot 63.6 percent from the floor overall during the contest, negating the fact that the Wildcats forced a game-high 15 miscues. Jake Cohen scored 25 points to lead the way for Davidson in the loss, while Chris Czerapowicz added 17 points. Nik Cochran netted 16 points and passed out six assists as well for the Wildcats, while De'Mon Brooks finished with 10 points. The Wildcats average a whopping 78.6 ppg this season, a key reason for the teams success. The club is shooting at a respectable 44.7 percent clip as a team to go with a 77.4 percent conversion rate at the foul line, and boast five players with a double-digit scoring average. Brooks, with 15.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest, leads the way for the Wildcats up to this point, with Cohen following with 13.9 ppg to go with 6.0 rpg. Cochran owns an 11.3 ppg mark, while J.P. Kuhlman and Czerapowicz have been responsible for 11.2 and 10.4 ppg, respectively.
Davidson should continue to roll here, and earn a decisive win over the Phoenix. The midst of a downward spiral is no time to meet up with the Wildcats, and unfortunately for Elon, that is just the position the club is in right now.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Davidson 82, Elon 70
02/23 10:38:26 ET