Looking for its second straight win on the young season after losing four straight games, the Elon University men’s basketball team needed overtime but topped Columbia University in Alumni Gym 68-65 Sunday, Dec. 1.
The Phoenix and Lions have now battled each of the last four seasons with each game coming down to the wire. Last season, Elon needed a three-pointer from guard Jack Isenbarger with 2.3 seconds to play to win 70-69.
This season, Columbia junior forward Alex Rosenberg hit a three-pointer with .4 seconds to play to send the contest to overtime for the game’s second tie of the afternoon. Overall, Elon never trailed in the game.
Following another basket from senior forward Lucas Troutman to give Elon a four-point lead, sophomore guard Maodo Lo hit a three-pointer to pull the Lions within one, but it was as close as they would come to the Phoenix in overtime.
The Lions did not score its first points in the game until 10:49 remaining in the first half on a layup from Lo. Before the made shot, Elon had a 15-0 lead. The 15-point margin was Elon’s largest of the game.
Out of halftime, the Lions scored five straight to tie the contest at 29, but Elon would regain the lead 14 seconds later and wouldn’t allow another tie until .4 seconds to play when Rosenberg hit the game-tying three-pointer.
Junior guard Austin Hamilton led the Phoenix with 17 points in 37 minutes. He went 4-for-4 from behind the arc. As a team, Elon made 6 of 13 shots from range. Troutman finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. He also blocked five shots. Blake finished with a career-high 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting. He entered the game for the first time five minutes into the second half.
Rosenberg led all scorers with 19 points in 27 minutes of action. He went 6 of 12 from the field and 3 of 6 from beyond the three-point line. Sophomore guard Grant Mullins scored 13 points in the loss on 5 of 11 shooting.
In four games between the two programs, the two teams have a win/loss point differential of zero. Elon pulled out one-point victories on game-winning shots in the final seconds in the 2010-2011 season and the 2012-2013 seasons while Columbia earned a five-point victory during the 2011-2012 season.
Next time out, Elon hosts Virginia Military Institute in Alumni Gym Tuesday, Dec. 3, before going idle for 10 days. After that, the Phoenix travel to Boulder, Colo. to take on the Colorado University Buffaloes.