GAME NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers will pay a visit to Alumni Gym to take on the Southern Conference North Division-leading Elon Phoenix.
Appalachian State has won three of its last four outings. After suffering an ugly 35-point loss at Davidson over the weekend, the Mountaineers got back on track with a 72-66 home win over Furman on Monday. But now it's back to the road for the Mountaineers, who are just 3-10 outside of their own building this season.
Elon continues to lead the SoCon North Division and entered the week with a 2 1/2-game cushion over ASU. The Phoenix have won eight of their last nine games overall, and that includes Saturday's 64-60 triumph over Furman. They have fared well at home this season with nine wins in 11 tries.
Appalachian State earned an 80-70 home win over the Phoenix in the first meeting back on Jan. 12. The Mountaineers have won nine of the last 11 meetings to take a 52-42 lead in the head-to-head series.
Appalachian State led Furman by as many as 18 with just over four minutes to play in the first half of Monday's game. The Paladins rallied to cut the deficit to six at the break, but the Mountaineers were able to maintain the lead throughout the second half thanks in part to a 14-of-17 effort from the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes. Michael Obacha, Nathan Healy and Mike Neal each scored 14 points in the win, with Healy adding 12 rebounds and a pair of blocks to his stat line. Four players are averaging double figures for the Mountaineers this season, led by Healy with 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per tilt. The senior forward is shooting a solid 50.6 percent from the floor and 42.6 percent from beyond the arc (43-of-101), as he leads the team in 3-pointers made and in rebounding. Jay Canty (14.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is one of three other Mountaineers averaging double figures in the scoring column.
The Phoenix boast a solid inside presence as well as a few capable long-range shooters. Down low, Lucas Troutman is shooting 54.1 percent from the floor while averaging a team-best 15.1 points to go along with 5.7 rebounds. Fellow forward Ryley Beaumont leads the team in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and is third in scoring (10.5 ppg). Along the perimeter, Jack Isenbarger (14.1 ppg) and Sebastian Koch (9.1 ppg) have combined to knock down just under five 3- pointers per game. Against Furman this past weekend, Koch tied the game with a baseline jumper with less than two minutes to play and, after a key defensive stop in the final minute, the Phoenix put the game away by going 5-of-6 at the charity stripe in the waning moments. Koch finished with a team-high 19 points, while Beaumont and Tanner Samson joined him in double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Elon's 16 wins are the program's most since 1996-97 as the Phoenix continue to play frontrunner in the SoCon North. Still, don't count out the Mountaineers, who have dominated the head-to-head series and won the season's first meeting last month.
Game Date and Time