Georgia Southern (11-13) at Elon (13-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (1,607) -- Elon, North Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: GSU 7-3, Elon 9.2. Away Record: GSU 3-9, Elon 4-6. Neutral Record: GSU 1-1, Elon 0-3. Conference Record: GSU 4-5, Elon 6-3. Series Record: Series is tied 9-9.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to continue their winning ways, the Elon Phoenix play host to the Georgia Southern Eagles in a Southern Conference matchup at Alumni Gym on Saturday night.
Georgia Southern has just four wins in its last 10 games. On Thursday night, the team fell to Wofford on the road, 74-61.
Elon has won last its three, most recently taking care of UNC Greensboro at home on Thursday, 72-66.
The teams have met 18 times previously, with each winning nine times. Elon has emerged victorious in the last two matchups and won four of last five overall. The Phoenix won the only meeting last season, 55-50, in Statesboro.
Jelani Hewitt led the Eagles with 21 points. Angel Matias scored 11 points and grabbed nine boards, while Kyle Doyle and Curtis Diamond netted 10 points apiece in the loss to Wofford. GSU held a 52-40 lead with 12:43 remaining in regulation before the hosts went on a 14-2 run to even the score and the Terriers pulled away down the stretch.
The Eagles boast a solid scoring offense this season, putting up 73.0 ppg, but they unfortunately allow their opponents to keep pace at the other end (71.8 ppg). Their lackluster free-throw percentage (.665) often comes back to haunt them in close games. Hewitt is the SoCon's most prolific scorer with 20.5 ppg, having drained 65-of-174 from 3-point range (.374) and 122-of-145 at the foul line (.841). Bussey is a strong second option with 16.3 ppg on greater than 44.7 percent field goal shooting, while Angel Matias (8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) patrols the paint.
Ryley Beaumont registered 14 points and nine rebounds as the Elon Phoenix beat UNC Greensboro the last time out. Lucas Troutman and Kevin Blake each scored 13 points and tallied six rebounds for the Phoenix (13-11, 6-3 SoCon), who extended their winning streak to three games. Sebastian Koch added 11 points. The visitors took a one-point lead with 10:47 left, but Elon promptly went on a 7-0 run to create some space and pull away for the victory.
On the season, Elon ranks first in the SoCon in field goal percentage (.473), 3-point percentage (.386) and 3-pointers per game (8.4), and third in scoring (76.2 ppg), and while its scoring defense has been far from impressive (73.3 ppg), it's been good enough to sport the league's best scoring margin at +2.7. Troutman leads the squad from his spot in the front court with 15.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg and nearly two blocks per contest. Koch (12.9 ppg) and Tanner Samson (10.2 ppg) are deadly from long distance, combining for 129 treys at greater than 44 percent efficiency, while Ryley Beaumont (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) rounds out the unit's double-digit scorers.
The sharp-shooting and high-flying Phoenix are sure to light up the scoreboard, especially with the defensive struggles of the Eagles.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Elon 83, Georgia Southern 74
02/08 10:37:40 ET