Columbia (4-3) at Elon (3-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (1,607) -- Elon, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Columbia 2-1, Elon 2-1. Away Record: Columbia 0-2, Elon 1-1. Neutral Record: Columbia 2-0, Elon 0-2. Conference Record: Columbia 0-0, Elon 0-0. Series Record: Elon leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Elon Phoenix continue a four-game homestand on Sunday, as they play host to the Columbia Lions in a non-conference matchup at Alumni Gym.
The Phoenix were able to end a four-game losing streak with Monday's 90-85 win over Georgia State to close out play in the NIT Season Tip-Off. With the win, the team pulled within a game of .500 on the year (3-4).
The Lions are 4-3 on the young season and have played well even in defeat to top-ranked Michigan State (62-53) and Manhattan (71-70). More recently, Columbia has won two in a row, topping both Idaho (61-47) and American (61-47).
Elon has won two of the three meetings in the series, including last year's thriller at Columbia, with a 3-pointers with less than three seconds remaining providing the game-winner in 70-69 decision.
The Lions are by no means an offensive juggernaut, instead settling in with modest numbers, including 63.4 ppg on .437 shooting. Sophomore guard Maodo Lo has converted half of his shots on the season, including an even more impressive 60 percent from behind the arc (18-of-30) to top the team at 13.4 ppg. Fellow sophomore Grant Mullins adds 11.1 ppg as the only other Lion currently averaging double digits.
The Lions went up 14-4 in the first half against American and never looked back in a 14-point victory. Center Luke Petrasek led the way with 19 points in the win. Lo added 13 points, while Alex Rosenberg and Meiko Lyles tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively. Columbia outrebounded American 34-23 and held a 15-8 edge in points from the free-throw line.
The Phoenix are a strong offensive team led by a veteran core. The team is netting 81.6 ppg, shooting .507 from the floor overall and .452 from 3-point range, while averaging 10 3-pointers per game. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by Lucas Troutman's 16.7 ppg. Tanner Samson is next in line at 12.9 ppg, while Sebastian Koch (12.6 ppg), Ryley Beaumont (11.4 ppg) and Austin Hamilton (10.1 ppg) have all contributed.
Elon launched 24 3-point attempts against Georgia State and converted 15 of those in posting a five-point shootout win over the Panthers in NIT action on Tuesday. The team used its .625 shooting to bolster its overall efficiency (.563) in the win. Six players notched double digits in a balanced effort for Elon, led by Troutman's 19 points. Samson and Koch both posted 15 points, Hamilton finished with 13 and Jack Isenbarger and Beaumont chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Phoenix are better than their record would indicate. Expect a steady stream of shots from long range, as Elon is able to get by a tough Columbia squad in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Elon 69, Columbia 65
12/01 10:34:01 ET