The Elon University men’s basketball team impressed fans in its first two matchups of the season, wins of 33 and 50 points over Div. III schools in an exhibition and the season-opener.
One question remained, though: How would Elon fare against a Div. I opponent?
The answer? Just as good. Behind sophomore guard Tanner Samson and senior forward Lucas Troutman, the Phoenix blew out the Marist College Red Foxes 75-48 on Sunday, Nov. 10, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Elon raced out to a 13-5 lead at the first media timeout and never looked back. Samson scored his first of 17 points on a three-pointer to open the contest just six seconds after tipoff and added two more threes before the first stoppage.
After a three-pointer coming out of the timeout, Samson was in double figures personally before the opponent as a team for the second time in two games on the 2013-14 season.
Elon reeled off a 12-0 run to push the lead to 28-10 halfway through the opening half. Marist reached 16 points with six minutes remaining in the half and did not score before intermission. At halftime, the Red Foxes did not have a single assist and trailed 47-16.
Elon spent much of the second half protecting its advantage, and although the Red Foxes outscored the Phoenix 32-28, Marist was unable to get closer than 25 points.
The Phoenix shot 50 percent (30 of 60) from the field and 37 percent (10 of 27) from three-point range. Marist shot 31 percent (15 of 48) and a dismal 0 for 14 from behind the arc. Marist outrebounded Elon 37-32.
Samson led Elon with 17 points while Troutman finished with 16. Junior guard Austin Hamilton had 13, and senior forward Ryley Beaumont also finished in double figures with 11.
Elon improves to 2-0 for the first time since 1996-97 with the win while Marist drops to 0-2. The Phoenix will face the University of North Carolina at Charlotte on Friday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. on the 49ers’ home floor.