A hot-shooting second half led the Elon University men’s basketball team to an 81-76 victory over Drexel University Thursday night in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play.

The Phoenix shot 75 percent in the second half, finishing 18-of-24 from the field and 6-of-8 from behind the arc. Elon also shot 7-of-12 from the free throw line. In a six-minute stretch, from 9:10 remaining to 3:10 left in the half, Elon went on a 16-2 run, going from down six points to ahead by eight.

Senior guard Tanner Samson led the second half rally, scoring 14 of his game-leading 19 points in the second half. After not scoring in Elon’s last game Feb. 13 —missing all seven shots he took, every one of which was from behind the 3-point line — Samson finished the night 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from deep, and also made 5-of-6 free throws.

Elon (15-13 overall, 6-9 CAA) got five double-digit point efforts on the night, led by Samson. Redshirt-sophomore forward Brian Dawkins scored 14 points, freshman forward Tyler Seibring added 12 points, sophomore guard Dmitri Thompson contributed 11 points and freshman guard Steven Santa Ana pitched in 10 points.

For Drexel (3-23, 1-14), freshman guard Terrell Allen scored 18 points to lead the Dragons. Sophomore guard Tavon Allen, added 17 points, graduate senior forward Kazembe Abif scored 16 points and junior forward Rodney Williams added 10 points.

The Phoenix remains in eighth place in the CAA, but moves to two games behind the College of Charleston after the sixth place Cougars lost to the University of Delaware 62-59. Northeastern University is in seventh place, one game ahead of Elon and one game behind the College of Charleston.

With just three games remaining before the CAA Tournament, Elon’s slim hopes of avoiding the first round in Baltimore remain alive and got slightly stronger with Thursday’s results. Elon will need to win the rest of its games to give itself the best possible chance to make it to sixth place.

Elon finishes its road trip at noon Saturday when it travels to Towson University. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet.

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