Trailing by as many as 16 points with 13:28 to play Monday, Nov. 18, against the Drexel University Dragons in the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off in Piscataway, N.J., the Elon University basketball team went on a 17-3 run to pull within two points.
The two-point deficit was the closest Elon would ever get to the Dragons, as Elon would never lead in the game and fell 71-64 at the Rutgers Athletic Center on the campus of Rutgers University.
After Elon pulled the game within two at 52-50, Drexel went on a 10-2 run to all but down the Phoenix.
With relatively hot hands in the first three games from behind the arc in the first three games, Elon cooled off to the tune of 2-for-16 from three-point range. In each of the first three games, Elon hit at least 10 three-pointers. Last time the Phoenix made two three-pointers in a game was Feb. 23, 2012 against Davidson College.
Overall, Elon shot 43.8 percent from the field. Drexel went 21 of 49 from the field, good for 42.9 percent.
Elon did not score in the first five minutes of the game, which set the tone early that the Drexel defense was going to be tight all night. However, Elon only turned the ball over nine times.
Getting in foul trouble early, senior forward Lucas Troutman found himself on the bench for a majority of the first half, as did senior guard Sebastian Koch. Troutman recovered to lead the charge in the second half for the Phoenix and finished with a game-high 23 points. He went 7 of 7 from the free throw line.
Overall, Elon shot 20 of 24 from the free throw line, but just five of those came in the first half. Aiding Drexel’s 10-point halftime lead was the Dragons ability to get to the free throw line. In the first half, Drexel went to the charity stripe 20 times, making 14 of the shots.
After Drexel’s 10-2 run that ended with 2:15 to play, Elon made one more run at the Dragons, pulling within four on multiple occasions, but the Dragons never let Elon get closer.
Drexel is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. They will be a conference opponent of the Phoenix next season when Elon makes the transition to the CAA.
With a win against Canisius College, Rutgers University advanced to the finals of the North pod of the NIT Season Tip-Off with a trip to Madison Square Garden in New York City on the line. Elon will take on Canisius at 5 p.m. from the RAC in the consolation game.
In the first-ever meeting between the two teams, Elon fell to Canisius 69-53 in the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament in March.