ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team begins the second half of Colonial Athletic Association play on Thursday night, Feb. 2, as the Phoenix travels to Stony Brook to take on the Seawolves. The game will tip at 7 p.m. from Island Federal Arena.
HOW TO FOLLOW
• Thursday’s game will be streamed live on FloHoops via a paid subscription.
• Listen to the game on 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 6:30 p.m.
• 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.
• Elon and Stony Brook are only meeting for the third time in their histories on the basketball hardwood and the first as league opponents. The Seawolves hold a 2-0 advantage over the maroon and gold with both meetings coming in Elon’s first two years as a member at the Division I level.
• In the first matchup of the series on Jan. 10, 2000, Stony Brook earned a 61-60 victory at Elon thanks to a layup with 10 seconds left by Rob Hartman. The setback was the first home loss for the maroon and gold that season.
• Both teams met for a rematch on Dec. 30, 2000, but Stony Brook earned a 74-62 verdict over the Phoenix on its home floor. Dennis Gaskins led Elon with 14 points while Larry McSwain added 12 points and five rebounds.
• Elon head coach Billy Taylor is 3-1 all-time against Stony Brook during his time as a head coach at Lehigh (2002-07). He is 0-4 versus Stony Brook head coach Geno Ford in his career when he was the head coach at Ball State (2007-13) and Ford was the head coach at Kent State (2008-11).
LAST TIME OUT
• Behind a 56-percent shooting performance, the Phoenix earned its first win during CAA play with a 72-58 victory over Drexel on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Schar Center.
• The win snapped a four-game losing skid to the Dragons as the Phoenix (3-19, 1-8 CAA) avenged its earlier 62-50 loss to the Drexel to start league play on Dec. 29.
• Drexel took an early 4-0 advantage, but the Phoenix scored the next eight points and would never relinquish the lead after that. Elon would lead by as large as 16 points in the second half with the Dragons only coming as close as five points in the second stanza.
• Sean Halloran led four Phoenix players in double figures with 18 points. Jerald Gillens-Butler and Max Mackinnon contributed with 14 points each while Sam Sherry added 11.
• Elon shot 56.3 percent from the floor (27-of-48), its second-best shooting performance of the season. The Phoenix hit over 65 percent of its shots in the second half and was a sizzling 58.3 percent from downtown (7-of-13) overall.
• Elon won the battle in points off turnovers (16-15), points in the paint (32-28) and bench points (12-6).
• Elon is averaging 65.8 points per game and ranks third in the CAA in fastbreak points at 9.45 points per contest and fourth in free throw percentage at 72.2 percent.
• Halloran leads the Phoenix in scoring at 13.3 points per game and has led Elon in scoring eight times this year. The Orlando, Fla., native has scored in double figures a team-best 17 times and is averaging 21 points per game in his last two outings.
• Halloran is also the Phoenix’s top playmaker with 93 total assists, which ranks fifth in the CAA while his 4.2 assist average is the highest for the program since Luke Eddy also averaged 4.5 assists per game during the 2015-16 season.
• Halloran leads the CAA in total steals (45) and is tied for second in steals per game (2.0). He is 32nd in the nation in total steals. His steals per game average would tie Scottie Rice’s single-season performance in school history at the Division I era of from 2002-03.
• Zac Ervin leads the Phoenix with 51 makes from three-point range and is second on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game. The Gate City, Va., native has stepped up as a playmaker this season with 38 assists, which is third on the team.
• Mackinnon is third on the team in scoring at 10.7 points per game while also being the Phoenix’s leading rebounder with 107 boards (5.1 rpg). The Brisbane, Australia, native had his 10th double-digit scoring contest of the season against Drexel and has averaged 5.0 assists per game in his past two contests.
• Jerald Gillens-Butler continues his recovery back into the Phoenix’s lineup after missing the first half of the season due to injury. The Orlando, Fla., native has started the past six games and is averaging 7.7 points per game during that stretch. He is averaging 12.0 in his past two games including tying his season-high with 14 versus Drexel last Saturday.
• Torrence Watson nearly added his second straight double-double versus Drexel with eight points and 10 rebounds. The St. Louis native is fourth on the team in scoring at 9.3 points per game and paces the team in rebounds per game at 5.3.
• Health has been a major storyline for the Phoenix this season. Five players – Halloran, Ervin, Sherry, John Bowen III and LA Pratt – have appeared in all 22 games so far for the Phoenix. Elon has also had three scholarship players – Gillens-Butler, Junkin and Deandre Smart – miss ten or more games this season with long-term injuries.
SCOUTING STONY BROOK
• Stony Brook (8-14, 4-5 CAA) snapped a four-game losing streak with its 71-66 victory at Hampton on Saturday. It was the third win of the season on the road for the Seawolves.
• The Seawolves are averaging 63.7 points per game on 41.7 percent shooting, including 32.0 percent from three-point range. Stony Brook does lead the league in free throw percentage at 74.7 percent, which is in the top 50 in the nation.
• Four players are averaging eight or more points in Stony Brook’s regular lineup including a pair of double-digit scorers in senior guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore (14.7 ppg) and graduate student Frankie Policelli (14.1 ppg). Stephenson-Moore is nearly automatic from the charity stripe as his 89.2 percentage leads the CAA. Policelli has been a double-double machine for the Seawolves with eight this season, which leads the league and is 31st overall in the country. The New Hartford, N.Y., native leads the CAA with his 9.5 boards per contest.
• Ford is in his fifth season at the helm of the Stony Brook men’s basketball program. He has posted a record of 55-55 with the Seawolves and is 220-210 in his 15 seasons as a head coach overall.
ELON BASKETBALL LIVE RETURNS
• With the start of the new calendar year coinciding with the beginning of Colonial Athletic Association play, Elon Basketball Live presented by MaGerks returned on Monday, Jan. 9. The show will take place at MaGerks Pub & Grill in Elon.
• Elon Basketball Live is the exclusive chance for fans to hear directly from head women’s basketball coach Charlotte Smith and head men’s basketball coach Billy Taylor all winter long. The longtime voice of the Phoenix, Taylor Durham, will chat with both Smith and Taylor, along with player guests, about recent and upcoming games.
• Fans are invited to attend the broadcast live and can also listen via The Varsity Network app on their phone or smart device. The show will also be available on Tuesday morning via The Voices of Elon Athletics Podcast on Spotify.
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.
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.
• 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.
The Phoenix continues its road trip in the Northeast as Elon makes the trek to Boston for a matchup at Northeastern on Saturday, Feb. 4. That game is set for a 2 p.m. start time at Matthews Arena.
— ELON —
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