ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team continues its two-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11, as the Phoenix plays host to Johnson & Wales (N.C.). Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Schar Center.
HOW TO FOLLOW
• Sunday’s game will be streamed live on FloHoops.
• Listen to the Elon Sports Network from Learfield on The Varsity Network app.
• Longtime voice of the Phoenix, Taylor Durham, will be on the call with the pregame show beginning at 1:30 p.m. with analyst Chase Williams.
• Links for the broadcast and live stats can be found on the Elon men’s basketball schedule page at elonphoenix.com.
• Other in-game updates will be provided on Twitter by following @ElonMBasketball.
TICKETS ON SALE
• Season tickets are now on sale for $170 for men’s basketball.
• Single-game tickets are now on sale! Single-game tickets begin at $15 for men’s basketball.
• Fans are able to purchase a book of 10 ticket vouchers for $75. These vouchers are redeemable for a ticket to any Elon men’s or women’s basketball regular season home game. Use all 10 for any one game, or use one voucher for 10 different games. Fans will also receive an Elon mini autographed basketball from the head coaches. These tickets represent a 50 percent savings for men’s basketball tickets and a 25 percent savings for women’s basketball vs. single-game prices.
• Ticket vouchers must be redeemed for a reserved seat ticket prior to entry. This can be done at the Schar Center Box Office during regular business hours (M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) or starting 90 minutes prior to tipoff.
• For more information, visit ElonTickets.com or call the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750.
• Sunday will be the first-ever meeting between the Phoenix and the Wildcats on the basketball hardwood.
• Among common opponents, both teams have faced UNCG this season. Johnson & Wales squared off against the Spartans on Nov. 7 in a 93-60 setback while Elon played UNCG in its most-recent contest last Saturday in a 65-61 defeat.
• Elon assistant coach Josh Gross served as the head coach for Johnson & Wales during the 2021-22 season. Gross led the Wildcats to the 2022 USCAA Division II National Championship game, compiling an overall record of 17-12.
LAST TIME OUT
• Elon hosted UNCG in its last game on Saturday, Dec. 3, to begin its brief two-game homestand. The Phoenix rallied back from a 10-point first-half deficit to come within one, but ultimately fell to the Spartans 65-61.
• Sean Halloran matched his season-high with 21 points – all in the second half – to lead the Phoenix (1-8). Zac Ervin also had a new season-high point total with 18 points off the bench while knocking down 4-of-6 from three.
• After playing just 11 minutes in the opening half due to foul trouble and going 0-for-2, Halloran went 7-of-12 while playing all but three seconds in the second half. The Orlando, Fla., native also had five rebounds and five assists while going 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
• Ervin had his best shooting performance of the season so far with the senior going 6-of-11 from the floor. His four treys tied his season-best total from Jacksonville State on Nov. 22 where he scored his previous season-high point total of 16.
• The Phoenix held the Spartans to only 25 percent from three (5-of-20). It was the fourth time this season Elon has held an opponent to less than 30 percent from downtown as the Phoenix currently ranks second in the Colonial Athletic Association in opponent three-point percentage at .318 percent.
• The win was UNCG’s fifth in a row over the maroon and gold while Elon fell to 26-18 all-time versus its fellow Piedmont Triad rival.
LAUNCHING THE BILLY TAYLOR ERA
• Billy Taylor was named the 19th head coach of the Phoenix on April 15, 2022. Taylor arrived to the Phoenix after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa.
• Prior to working with the Hawkeyes, Taylor spent five years as head coach at Lehigh University followed by six seasons as the head coach at Ball State University and three at Belmont Abbey College.
• In his time at Iowa, the Hawkeyes ranked as one of the top offensive teams in the country, ranking fifth nationally in scoring average in both 2021 (83.7) and 2022 (83.2). The program also led the country in assist-to-turnover ratio in both seasons.
• Taylor was a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (2003, 2004) and led Lehigh to both the regular season and tournament titles in 2004, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament that season. He also guided Ball State to the 2009 MAC West Division crown.
• Halloran leads the Phoenix in scoring as the graduate student has put in 13.4 points per game. His 21 points against the Spartans was his team-best sixth double-digit scoring outing of the year and fourth in a row. Over those last four games, he is averaging 15.8 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from three.
• Halloran is also averaging 4.6 assists per game, which is third in the Colonial Athletic Association. His 19 steals are tied for the best in the league at 2.1 thefts per game.
• Halloran has scored (121) or assisted (41) on nearly 27 percent of Elon’s total points this season (162 of 594).
• Ervin and Halloran are tied for the team lead with 18 made three-pointers. Both players are also solid at the charity stripe with both players going a combined 34-of-39 from the free throw line at 87 percent.
• Elon used a starting lineup combo of Halloran, Sam Sherry, Max Mackinnon, LA Pratt and John Bowen III – its first different starting lineup in four games. Pratt made his first collegiate start with the Columbus, Ohio, native playing 26 minutes.
• Bowen III started his fourth game of the year and his first since Nov. 17 versus North Dakota. The Bladenboro, N.C., native led the Phoenix with nine rebounds in 26 minutes from the floor.
• Mackinnon is the Phoenix’s leading rebounder at 4.9 rebounds per game and is also second to Halloran in steals with 10.
• Since entering the starting lineup five games ago, Sherry is averaging 10.2 points per game while hauling 5.8 boards per contest. The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native is averaging 26.5 minutes per game over that stretch including playing a career-high 32 minutes versus UNCG.
• Elon welcomes back seven letterwinners from last year’s team including five upperclassmen. Among the notable returners for the maroon and gold includes graduate student Torrence Watson and senior Zac Ervin. Both players are the leading returning scorers for Elon at 9.2 and 7.1 points per game, respectively.
• The Phoenix also welcomes back redshirt Jerald Gillens-Butler, who hopes to return to form after being named an All-Colonial Athletic Association honorable mention prior to last year. The Orlando, Fla., native appeared in only 10 games last year after missing most of the prior season due to an injury.
• A pair of graduate transfers will look to make an immediate impact for the Phoenix this season. Sean Halloran arrives to the Phoenix after an outstanding four-year career at Belmont Abbey. The Orlando, Fla., native finished as the all-time career assist leader with the Crusaders while helping the program to back-to-back Conference Carolinas Tournament Championships and three straight NCAA tournament appearances. He rounded out his career averaging 14.4 points per game as a senior and concluded his career with 1,422 points.
• Another graduate transfer, John Bowen III, brings size to the Phoenix front line at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds. The Bladenboro, N.C., native last played at UNCW in 2019-20 and appeared in 28 out of 32 games. Prior to UNCW, Bowen III was a teammate of Halloran’s at Belmont Abbey and averaged 8.9 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per contest in 2018-19 while starting 27 of 28 games.
• A pair of freshmen will also look to make an impact for the maroon and gold in 2022-23. Max Mackinnon is a 6-foot-5 swingman from Brisbane, Australia, where he won back-to-back gold medals with the U20 Australian National Team. He was also named an All-Star 5 at the Australian National Championship.
• Another freshman, LA Pratt, is a 6-foot-5 guard from Columbus, Ohio, who was a three-time All-4A Team member and three-time conference champion at Lincoln Park High School. He scored over 1,000 points in high school and helped guide the program to two WPIAL Championship appearances and two State Semifinal appearances.
SCOUTING JOHNSON & WALES
• The Wildcats are 5-6 on the season and have won the past two games after their 75-74 win over Brevard on Thursday.
• Located in Charlotte, Johnson & Wales is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and Eastern Metro Athletic Conference (EMAC).
• Johnson & Wales is averaging 87.9 points per game while knocking down nearly 51 percent of its shots. Anthoney Ray leads the Wildcats in scoring at 21.5 points per game with the Beech Island, S.C., native hitting 51 percent of his shots and over 43 percent from three.
• Fred Patterson is second on the team at 17.9 points per game and has a team-best 20 steals. Jaylen Benson-Hollinhead is pulling down a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game.
• Kevin Harrington is in his first season as the head coach at Johnson & Wales after serving as an assistant coach the previous year for the Wildcats.
Elon begins a five-game road trip at Presbyterian on Thursday, Dec. 15. The Phoenix and the Blue Hose are set for a 12 p.m. start.
— ELON —
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