Feb. 16, 2013
Elon, N.C. - Western Carolina erased a 12-point second half deficit on Saturday night but could not complete the rally as the Elon Phoenix outlasted the Catamounts in overtime, 80-73, in Southern Conference action at Alumni Gymnasium.
Overcoming a three-point WCU lead inside the game's final minute, Elon's Jack Isenbarger hit a pair of free throws to force the extra session, tying the game at 64. Elon then outscored WCU 16-9 in OT including scoring nine points from the free throw line to record the victory.
WCU trailed by a dozen, 55-43, after Isenbarger capped a 12-to-2 Phoenix run midway through the second half. The Catamounts rallied on the strength of a 16-to-4 run including a stretch of 10-straight points. WCU tied the game at 59 with four minutes remaining on a long-range shot by Tom Tankelewicz who two minutes later handed WCU a three-point lead, pushing the Catamounts in front, 64-61, with 2:11 to play.
However, Elon erased the deficit over the final minute of regulation by hitting 3-of-4 free throws including one by Lucas Troutman and the two by Isenbarger.
In overtime, Elon grabbed a two-possession lead before Josh Mendenhall tied the game at 69 with an offensive rebound stick-back with 2:21 to play. However, Elon rattled off eight-straight points including a big 3-pointer by Tanner Samson to pull away for the victory - their 10th in the last 11 games.
Tankelewicz finished with a career-high tying seven 3-pointers to lead the Catamounts with 23 points as WCU suffered its first loss in four games. Trey Sumler scored 10 of his 19 points in the first half while Preston Ross tallied all 12 of his points after intermission.
Tawaski King just missed a double-double with seven points and a game-high tying nine rebounds, while Mendenhall scored six points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench.
For the Phoenix, Ryley Beaumont scored 19 and Lucas Troutman finished with 18 as the duo combined to shoot 13-of-18 (72.2-percent) from the floor. Beaumont added nine rebounds and five assists while Troutman had four blocked shots. Sebastian Koch scored 10 of his 16 points from the free throw line including 5-of-6 in overtime.
Western Carolina (11-16, 8-7 SoCon) led by five early in the game until a 15-to-4 Elon run gave the Phoenix a six-point edge, 19-13. The game endured two more ties in the opening 20 minutes with Troutman hitting 1-of-2 free throws just before the break to give Elon the one-point, 29-28, lead at halftime.
Elon held a commanding 12-point edge from the free throw line as the home squad finished 27-of-40 (67.5%) while WCU was 15-of-22 (68.2%). The Phoenix outrebounded WCU 39-35 with the Catamounts pulling down a dozen offensive boards for 14 second chance points.
WCU opens a four-game home stand to close the 2012-13 regular season beginning Wednesday night against the College of Charleston. The Cougars are currently second in the SoCon South Division. Tip-off from the Ramsey Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Western Carolina at Elon - Post-Game Notes:
- Saturday night's loss halts a two-game road winning streak for the Catamounts over Elon ... It was the second-straight season the game at Alumni Gym had gone into overtime ... the loss also ends WCU's three-game winning streak marking the second-time this season that the Phoenix had snapped three-straight wins for WCU;
- Elon MADE more free throws (27) than Western Carolina ATTEMPTED (22) on Saturday night ... Elon's 40 attempts marks the third time this season a Catamount opponent had 40-or-more free throw tosses ... Western Kentucky had 43 free throws and Tennessee had 42 charity tosses in two games earlier this season;
- Matching his individual single-game career-best of seven made 3-pointers, Tom Tankelewicz now has 71 3-pointers made this season to rank seventh on the school's single-season chart ... Tankelewicz, who entered the game in a four-way tie for 10th, leapfrogged Terry Boyd (65, 1990-91), David Donerlson (67, 1988-89) and Jake Robinson (70, 2007-08);
- Trey Sumler moved into a tie for ninth in school history for career steals, matching Greg Dennis (1979-82) with 142 career thefts;
- Trey Sumler scored 19 points on Saturday night and now has 1,341 career points, moving into 20th in program history ... Sumler passed Dave Jones who scored 1,324 points from 1957-60;