The Elon University Phoenix (11-18, 8-9 CAA) faced off against rival James Madison University Dukes (9-17, 2-13 CAA) winning 70-62 on the road. This game marked just the second to last game the Dukes would play in what’s been its home court since 1982. It was also the first game of three on the road for the Phoenix, its final three games before conference tournament play. It's last away excursion proved successful for the Phoenix, winning both games away, and the momentum only continued today.
After earning CAA Rookie of the Week for the third time, Hunter McIntosh came out with the same energy that earned him the honor. The Phoenix ended the half tied with the Dukes 34-34, with McIntosh making up 16 of those points.
“I've had some good shooting performances but this one, it felt a little different,” McIntosh said. “When I see the first two or three go in you know, I kind of feel it like you know, I keep letting it go.”
With Dukes junior Matt Lewis, the Colonial Athletic Association’s fifth top scorer, making up for 11 of the Duke’s points, the effort made by McIntosh kept the Phoenix afloat in the half. With its first and only lead of the half coming early, the Phoenix were playing catchup for the majority of the half.
McIntosh’s three with 46 seconds remaining tied the Phoenix to end scoring for the half, putting him 6-6 for the half.
“Hunter McIntosh kind of kept us in the game making shots and you know, we're lucky for it to have been even at halftime and just proud of him,” Head coach Mike Schrage said. “I wouldn't trade him with any point guard. He keeps growing, he gets better, like I believe in him shooting the ball.”
The second half went all uphill for the Phoenix. McIntosh continued to show up where the Phoenix needed it, but getting on the board late was sophomore forward Chuck Hannah.
Hannah had been sidelined for the majority of the game due to foul trouble, only playing a total of 10 minutes. In the final five minutes, with four fouls against him, Hannah was back in the game with a point to prove.
“It was kind of the personal motivation, I was like ‘I gotta make an impact somehow’, because I think I had like two points, maybe like two rebounds. I was like, ‘I gotta do more,'” Hannah said. “I think I made the most of it when I got in and thankfully I was making shots and I was getting rebounds. It's just me just being myself and just trying to always have the energy every day.”
Hannah would pick up six points in a row with six rebounds, the second-highest rebound count for the team, even though he had the second fewest minutes for Elon.
“Chuck and his value cannot be measured in stats, he quarterbacks our defense, he does so much for us,” Schrage said. “We pretty much played without Chuck in the first half and our defense isn’t the same, he's our most valuable defender.”
The Phoenix would be fouled for the final two minutes by the Dukes, driving up the score, and giving McIntosh his chance to break his season-high record for points, with 27 points. His previous was 22 points against Northeastern University.
The Phoenix continue its road stretch at Towson University (16-12, 9-6 CAA) this Saturday at 2 p.m.