The Canisius College men's basketball team will play Elon University out of the Southern Conference in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament First Round, presented by The Buffalo News, on Wednesday, March 20, in the Koessler Athletic Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
The game between the Golden Griffins and the Phoenix will be the first in program history and it will mark the first time Canisius has played a team from the Southern Conference since the Blue and Gold played at College of Charleston during the 2004-05 season. The postseason game for the Griffs will be the program's first since March 14, 1996 and Wednesday's contest in the Koessler Athletic Center will be the program first postseason home game since March 23, 1995 when Canisius defeated Washington State in Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium in the NIT quarterfinals.
Elon enters the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament with a 21-11 overall record and a 13-5 mark in SoCon play. The Phoenix won the 2013 Southern Conference North Division championship and the team saw its run at toward an NCAA Tournament berth come to an end in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinal round with a 68-60 loss to College of Charleston. This will be Elon's first postseason appearance at the Division I level and it marks the school's ninth postseason bid in 104 years of varsity basketball.
Located in Elon, N.C., the Phoenix have been members of the Southern Conference since 2002. This season under fourth-year head coach Matt Matheny, Elon posted a road win over South Carolina in November and played games against 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Butler, Duke and Davidson. Elon is led in scoring by junior forward Lucas Troutman, who averaged 15.3 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Southern Conference. Junior forward Ryley Beaumont leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. As a team, Elon ranks fourth in the Southern Conference in scoring average (69.4 points per game) and fourth in scoring defense (64.8 points allowed per game).
Canisius enters the postseason with an 18-13 overall record and an 11-7 mark in MAAC play. The 18 wins are the most for the program since 2000-01 and the 11 league wins are the most for the Griffs since 1998-99. The Blue and Gold posted a school-record 11 wins in the Koessler Athletic Center this season and the team starts the postseason ranked second in the nation with 9.2 3-point field goals per game. Junior Billy Baron leads the Griffs in scoring average with 16.9 points per game, which ranks fifth in the MAAC and he leads the league with 5.0 assists per outing. Junior Chris Manhertz ranks second in the MAAC with his 8.9 rebounds per game and his 276 total rebounds this year are the most for a Griff since 1999-00. Canisius is averaging 73.0 points per game and the Griffs' 2,263 total points this season are the most for the program since the 2000-01 campaign.Tickets for the Griffs' first postseason game in 17 years are on sale now through Ticketmaster.com and the Canisius College Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased in person at the ticket office inside the main lobby of the Koessler Athletic Center or by phone at (716) 888-2885. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., daily. Canisius students can pick up their ticket at the C-Block Office Monday through Wednesday for free with a valid student ID card.