Elon (13-12) at Wofford (16-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 15th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Benjamin Johnson Arena (3,500) -- Spartanburg, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Elon 9-3, Wofford 9-2. Away Record: Elon 4-9, Wofford 6-8. Neutral Record: Elon 0-0, Wofford 1-1. Conference Record: Elon 8-6, Wofford 9-6. Series Record: Elon leads, 29-18.
GAME NOTES: The Elon Phoenix will try to keep pace in the Southern Conference North Division standings tonight, as they take on the Wofford Terriers at Benjamin Johnson Arena in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Elon entered the week one game back of UNC Greensboro for the top spot in the SoCon North Division. But after winning five of their previous six games, the Phoenix have dropped their last two. They followed up last Thursday's 83-75 setback at Chattanooga with an 87-78 loss at Samford over the weekend, and will now try to avoid a winless three-game road trip.
Wofford rebounded from a three-game skid with Saturday's 66-64 win at Appalachian State to salvage a 1-2 road trip. At home, the Terriers have won nine of 11 bouts this season. Following tonight's contest, they'll return to the road to face Charleston Southern on Saturday and UNC Greensboro next Tuesday.
Elon leads the all-time series, 29-18, although Wofford has won four of the last five meetings, including three straight. This is the only scheduled meeting on the 2011-12 docket between the two teams.
The Phoenix found themselves in a fast-paced shootout on Saturday, but they were not able to overcome a double-digit halftime deficit. Elon shot a blistering 65.4 percent from the floor in the second half, including a 10- of-15 effort from beyond the arc. However, the Bulldogs also shot better than 50 percent from the floor and hit a dozen three-pointers for the game to keep Elon at bay. Phoenix guard Jack Isenbarger continued his stellar play in the loss, knocking down a career-best seven threes en route to a game-high 21 points and six assists. Over the last nine games, Isenbarger is averaging more than four treys per contest. Brett Ervin provided a spark off the bench with 19 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes, as he went 7-of-9 from the floor, including three from the perimeter. Drew Spradlin and Sebastian Koch rounded out the team's double-digit scorers with 14 and 10 points, respectively. On the season, Isenbarger has buried 60 threes (.397) and paces the squad with 13.5 points per game. Lucas Troutman is posting 12.6 points and a team-best 5.6 rebounds per tilt, while Austin Hamilton is averaging 10.8 ppg.
Wofford's strength is on the boards, as the team tops the conference in rebounding defense (31.2 rpg) and boasts a +3.0 rebounding margin. Kevin Giltner (14.9 ppg) and Brad Loesing (14.6 ppg) are the primary scoring options, while Karl Cochran has also been a steady contributor in the scoring column. That trio has combined for 164 of the team's 178 three-pointers made this season. The Terriers have been able to out-rebound the majority of their opponents despite not having any player averaging more than 5.7 rebounds. At Appalachian State this past weekend, they went on a 9-1 spurt to build a seemingly comfortable 15-point lead with 14 minutes to play. However, the Mountaineers refused to go quietly and actually put themselves in position to win it in the final moments. But on ASU's final possession, Cochran came up with a timely blocked shot, and Giltner secured the rebound on a second desperation attempt as time expired. The Mountaineers were able to hang around thanks largely to the fact that they committed only six turnovers for the game, compared to 14 miscues by Wofford. The Terriers also struggled at the foul line, going just 9-of-17. However, they were able to overcome all of that with a 7-of-16 effort from three-point range as well as a 39-25 rebounding advantage. Loesing paced four players in double figures with 16 points.
The Terriers have been one of the SoCon's streakiest teams throughout the season, and tonight they'll face an Elon squad that is reeling of late. But with first place in the North still up for grabs, expect the Phoenix to play with a purpose, setting up perhaps another down-to-the-wire finish.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wofford 73, Elon 71
02/15 10:51:42 ET