Elon (12-7) at The Citadel (4-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 2:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McAlister Field House (6,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: none. Home Record: Elon 8-2, The Citadel 3-6. Away Record: Elon 4-4, The Citadel 1-8. Neutral Record: Elon 0-1, The Citadel 0-0. Conference Record: Elon 5-2, The Citadel 1-7. Series Record: Elon leads, 12-4.
GAME NOTES: The Elon Phoenix will try to continue a recent surge in the Southern Conference standings, as they battle The Citadel, a team that has the worst mark in the league entering the weekend.
Elon has won its last four games, including an 85-61 home blowout of Chattanooga on Thursday. That concluded a three-game homestand. Four of Elon's next five contests are on the road. The last time the Phoenix won five in a row was during the 2005-06 season, an eight-game run.
On Thursday, Jack Isenbarger netted 23 points while connecting on 7-of-13 shots from behind the arc to pace the Phoenix. Lucas Troutman added 18 points and Ryley Beaumont had 13. Tanner Samson hit 4-of-6 shots from 3-point range for 12 points, while Sebastian Koch tallied seven points to go along with six assists and six boards. Isenbarger surpassed the 1,000-point milestone. Troutman is just 38 points shy of doing the same.
Getting out to an early lead has proven to be important for the Phoenix this season. Elon is 9-1 when leading at the half. The Phoenix own the top scoring margin in the SoCon, averaging a plus 6.1 point margin of victory. What's helped Elon the most this season is its defense. The Phoenix are holding opponents to 39.9 percent shooting from the field, which is tops in the SoCon. Also, Elon has displayed great ability to force turnovers. The Phoenix lead the conference with a plus-3.53 turnover margin. Elon leads the SoCon with 7.9 3-pointers made per game. Leading the way from long distance is Isenbarger with 54 of them made during this season. He's averaging 14.5 points, which is just behind Troutman (15.5). Beaumont (10.0 ppg) is also in double figures and is leading the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. Koch is making 42 percent of his 3-point shots and comes in at 8.5 ppg.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 69-54 loss at the College of Charleston on Thursday. Mike Groselle tallied 17 points and nine rebounds as The Citadel lost for the 13th time in its last 14 games. Groselle leads the SoCon with a .566 field goal percentage to go with a team-leading 14 points and 7.8 rebounds per tilt. Matt Van Scyoc is second on the team with 11.3 ppg. The Citadel tied its season-low with seven turnovers on Thursday, but what's been hurting the Bulldogs is their inability to play solid defense. The Citadel is giving up an average of 73.2 points, which is second-worst in the SoCon.
The Phoenix has won the last four meetings between the two schools, including a 71-66 decision on Feb. 4, 2012. Isenbarger's career-high 34 points paced Elon. There's little reason to believe the Bulldogs can keep up with a team that's coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Elon 70, The Citadel 60
01/26 10:41:28 ET