Phoenix Hosts North Dakota Thursday at 8 pm
ELON, NC – The Elon University men’s basketball team hosts North Dakota at Schar Center on Thursday night, Nov. 17. Tipoff between the Phoenix and the Fighting Hawks is set for 8 pm
HOW TO FOLLOW
• Thursday’s game will be streamed live on FloHoops.
• Listen to the Elon Sports Network from Learfield on The Varsity Network app.
• Longtime voice of the Phoenix, Taylor Durham, will be on the call with the pregame show beginning at 7:30 pm along with analyst Javik Blake.
• Links for the broadcast and live stats can be found on the Elon men’s basketball schedule page at elonphoenix.com.
• Other in-game updates will be provided on Twitter by following @ElonMBasketball.
TICKET ON SALE
• Season tickets are now on sale for $170 for men’s basketball.
• Single-game tickets are now on sale! Single-game tickets begin at $15 for men’s basketball.
• Fans are able to purchase a book of 10 ticket vouchers for $75. These vouchers are redeemable for a ticket to any Elon men’s or women’s basketball regular season home game. Use all 10 for any one game, or use one voucher for 10 different games. Fans will also receive an Elon mini autographed basketball from the head coaches. These tickets represent a 50 percent savings for men’s basketball tickets and a 25 percent savings for women’s basketball vs. single-game prices.
• Ticket vouchers must be redeemed for a reserved seat ticket prior to entry. This can be done at the Schar Center Box Office during regular business hours (MF, 9 am-5 pm) or starting 90 minutes prior to tipoff.
• For more information, visit ElonTickets.com or call the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750.
• Thursday will be the first-ever meeting between Elon and North Dakota on the basketball hardwood.
• The matchup will be the Phoenix’s first game against a current member of the Summit League.
• Elon head coach Billy Taylor has a 6-2 record against the Summit League with victories over South Dakota (2-0) and former members Purdue-Fort Wayne (2-0), IUPUI (1-2) and Southern Utah (1 -0) as the head coach at Ball State.
LAST TIME OUT
• The Phoenix fell to Harvard, 92-77, in its final game at the Asheville Championship on Sunday, Nov. 13.
• Sean Halloran and Torrence Watson led four players in double figures scoring for the Phoenix with 14 points each.
• A pair of freshmen, Max Mackinnon and Deandre Smart, joined them in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The rookies helped the Phoenix outscore Harvard’s bench, 33-28.
• The Phoenix shot 25-of-56 from the field and was 7-of-23 from the three-point line. Elon made a season-best 20 free throws after going 20-of-29 from the charity stripe.
LAUNCHING THE BILLY TAYLOR ERA
• Taylor was named the 19th head coach of the Phoenix on April 15, 2022. Taylor arrived to the Phoenix after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa.
• Prior to working with the Hawkeyes, Taylor spent five years as head coach at Lehigh University followed by six seasons as the head coach at Ball State University and three at Belmont Abbey College.
• In his time at Iowa, the Hawkeyes ranked as one of the top offensive teams in the country, ranking fifth nationally in scoring average in both 2021 (83.7) and 2022 (83.2). The program also led the country in assist-to-turnover ratio in both seasons.
• Taylor was a two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year (2003, 2004) and led Lehigh to both the regular season and tournament titles in 2004, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament that season. He also guided Ball State to the 2009 MAC West Division crown.
• Watson leads the Phoenix in scoring at 11.3 points per game. The St. Louis, Mo. native has scored in double figures in two out of the Phoenix’s three games this year and is leading the maroon and gold on the boards at 6.0 rebounds per game.
• Smart is the Phoenix’s second-leading scorer at 10.7 points per contest. The Savannah, Ga., native is knocking down 73 percent of his shots (11-of-15) and is tied for second on the team in total rebounds with 14.
• Halloran leads the Colonial Athletic Association in total steals with 10, with that number also ranking top-10 in the country at ninth overall. The Orlando, Fla., native leads the Phoenix in minutes (30.7) while averaging 9.3 points and 4.7 assists.
• Mackinnon had his best scoring output of his rookie season so far against Harvard as the Brisbane, Australia, native went 5-of-11 and tied Halloran for the team-lead in assists with three. He also played a season-best 29 minutes.
• Graduate student John Bowen III started the past two games for Elon at the Asheville Championship. The Bladenboro, NC, native tied a career-high with 17 points in the Phoenix’s opening game against ETSU and currently leads the program in field goal percentage at .833 percent (10-of-12).
• Elon welcomes back seven letter winners from last year’s team including five upper class men. Among the notable returners for the maroon and gold includes graduate student Torrence Watson and senior Zac Ervin. Both players are the leading returning scorers for Elon at 9.2 and 7.1 points per game, respectively.
• The Phoenix also welcomes back redshirt Jerald Gillens-Butler, who hopes to return to form after being named an All-Colonial Athletic Association honorable mention prior to last year. The Orlando, Fla., native appeared in only 10 games last year after missing most of the prior season due to an injury.
• A pair of graduate transfers will look to make an immediate impact for the Phoenix this season. Sean Halloran arrives to the Phoenix after an outstanding four-year career at Belmont Abbey. The Orlando, Fla., native finished as the all-time career assist leader with the Crusaders while helping the program to back-to-back Conference Carolinas Tournament Championships and three straight NCAA tournament appearances. He rounded out his career averaging 14.4 points per game as a senior and concluded his career with 1,422 points.
• Another graduate transfer, John Bowen III, brings size to the Phoenix front line at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds. The Bladenboro, NC, native last played at UNCW in 2019-20 and appeared in 28 out of 32 games. Prior to UNCW, Bowen III was a teammate of Halloran’s at Belmont Abbey and averaged 8.9 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per contest in 2018-19 while starting 27 of 28 games.
• A pair of freshmen will also look to make an impact for the maroon and gold in 2022-23. Max Mackinnon is a 6-foot-5 swingman from Brisbane, Australia, where he won back-to-back gold medals with the U20 Australian National Team. He was also named an All-Star 5 at the Australian National Championship.
• Another freshman, LA Pratt, is a 6-foot-5 guard from Columbus, Ohio, who was a three-time All-4A Team member and three-time conference champion at Lincoln Park High School. He scored over 1,000 points in high school and helped guide the program to two WPIAL Championship appearances and two State Semifinal appearances.
SCOUTING NORTH DAKOTA
• North Dakota is 1-2 on the season after coming off a 93-63 setback versus Pacific on Tuesday. The Fighting Hawks’ lone win of the season came in its regular-season opener at Incarnate Word on Nov. 7, 65-57.
• The Fighting Hawks went 6-25 in 2021-22 and had a 2-16 ledger in the Summit League and were tabbed to finish 10th in the conference’s 2022 preseason poll.
• North Dakota is averaging 63 points per game with three players averaging double figures. Junior guard Matt Norman is averaging a team-high 12.7 points while hitting 50 percent of his three-pointers on the season (10-of-20).
• Junior Tsotne Tsartsidze is second on the team in scoring at 11.7 points and is tied for the team-lead in rebounds at 5.3 boards per contest.
The Phoenix travels to in-state and ACC foe NC State on Saturday, Nov. 19. That game is scheduled for 1 pm on the ACC Network Extra.
— ELON —