GAME NOTES: Southern Conference division leaders will face off at Alumni Gym, as the Elon Phoenix host the Davidson Wildcats.
Davidson sits atop the South Division with 21 wins overall and a league-best 15-1 mark in SoCon games. The Wildcats are in the midst of a 12-game winning streak, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. Their latest outing resulted in a 93-87 overtime victory against Montana in a BracketBuster matchup over the weekend.
Elon is the North Division leader with a 12-4 SoCon record and 19 wins overall. The Phoenix have taken care of business at home with 11 wins in 13 tries this season. However, they are looking to get back into the win column after having a four-game winning streak snapped in Saturday's 72-68 loss at Chattanooga.
Davidson has won three straight meetings against Elon to take a 35-13 series lead. The Wildcats knocked the Phoenix out of last year's SoCon Tournament in the semifinals with an 83-67 decision to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Davidson's Tyler Kalinoski provided the dagger against Montana, as his 3- pointer early in overtime broke a 78-78 tie and sparked a 7-2 run. Kalinoski tallied 10 points and was one of five Wildcats in double figures. Jake Cohen led the way with a game-high 28 points, 25 of which came in an impressive first half. However, Cohen had to sit out most of the second half due to foul trouble. De'Mon Brooks chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds in the victory. The Wildcats are the nation's top free-throw shooting team, at 81.8 percent, and they wore down Montana with a 26-of-29 effort at the charity stripe, including 8-of-8 in overtime. Cohen paces the squad with 15.0 points per game on the season, while Brooks is right on his heels with 13.3 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds. Davidson has outscored its opposition by an average margin of 18.6 points during the 12-game win streak.
Lucas Troutman leads Elon with 14.9 ppg to go along with 5.4 rebounds, although he came off the bench for the first time this season against Chattanooga. Jack Isenbarger (13.9 ppg) and Ryley Beaumont (11.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg) are also averaging double figures for the Phoenix. The Mocs used a 14-2 run in Saturday's meeting to turn a six-point deficit into a six-point lead with seven minutes to play, and Elon was never able to recover. Beaumont had a team-high 20 points in the loss, while Sebastian Koch and Isenbarger finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. That trio combined to knock down eight of Elon's 12 3-pointers for the game. But while the Phoenix found success from beyond the arc, the Mocs paraded to the free-throw line, where they converted 20-of-29 attempts.
This figures to be a tight battle between SoCon heavyweights. While Elon has the homecourt advantage, the Wildcats have simply been playing at a higher level for longer, and their depth should prove superior in this matchup.
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