Elon (15-15) vs. Davidson (23-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 4, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (7,654) -- Asheville, North Carolina Television: ESPN3.com, SoCon Network Home Record: Elon 10-4, Davidson 13-2. Away Record: Elon 4-11, Davidson 9-5. Neutral Record: Elon 1-0, Davidson 1-0. Conference Record: Elon 9-9, Davidson 16-2. Series Record: Davidson leads, 35-12.
GAME NOTES: The top-seeded Davidson Wildcats will attempt to take a step closer towards a return to the Big Dance as they square off with the North Division's second-seeded Elon Phoenix in the semifinal round of the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Davidson will be facing Elon for the second time this season. On Feb. 23, the Wildcats dominated Elon, 66-45, at Belk Arena to own a 35-12 record versus the Phoenix in history.
The second-seeded Phoenix managed to keep their hope for a first-ever SoCon Tournament Championship alive by pushing past Georgia Southern to earn a 65-58 victory in the quarterfinal round on Saturday night. Elon led by 11 points in the first half and never trailed over the final 20 minutes. Georgia Southern tied the game once, at 48-48 and was down by just two points with 2:19 left in the game. Elon however, finished with five unanswered points to seal the win.
Elon's leading scorer Jack Isenbarger came up big once again on Saturday as he scored a team-high 18 points to pace the Phoenix. Ryley Beaumont and Lucas Troutman had nine points each while Drew Spradlin netted eight points on 3- of-3 shooting from the field. Coach Matt Matheny was pleased with the performance of seldom used Josh Bonney. The junior guard made some clutch plays while adding six points and four assists off the bench to keep Elon alive.
The Wildcats improved to 23-7 overall as they opened up their SoCon Tournament push with a 73-54 triumph over the Furman Paladins on Saturday night. SoCon Coach of the Year Bob McKillop hopes his squad carries its stellar play from the quarterfinals into the semifinal round. Davidson has outscored its last three opponents by an average of 19.0 ppg. The Wildcats only lost twice in SoCon action this season, one of the setbacks came at the hands of the College of Charleston, which Elon managed to beat in a double-overtime thriller. Davidson is going to be a difficult team to slow down, as it is ranked 18th in the nation with 77.8 ppg.
Davidson is one of the few teams in the country that has all five starters carrying double-digit scoring averages. De'Mon Brooks leads the balanced Wildcats with 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Jake Cohen is almost as productive with averages of 13.9 points and 6.0 boards per outing. JP Kuhlman, Nik Cochran, and Chris Czerapowicz round out the talented starting five. Brooks, Czerapowicz, and Tyler Kalinoski all netted 17 points in Saturday night's triumph over Furman.
With two players of the year on its roster, its no wonder why Davidson has been so dominant this season. The balanced attack should be enough to push the Wildcats one step closer to their first NCAA Tournament since Stephen Curry highlighted the program.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Davidson 78, Elon 59
03/04 10:36:41 ET