Elon University Phoenix vs. Charleston Cougars Pick & Prediction JANUARY 14th 2023

Stadium: TD Arena Charleston
Logo Elon University Phoenix
Logo Charleston Cougars

149o -105
-21 -110



After dealing with various challenges in two weeks since landing a national ranking, No. 22 Charleston will face struggling Elon on Saturday at Charleston, S.C.

The Cougars (17-1, 5-0 Colonial Athletic Association) have the nation's longest winning streak at 16 games.

And the run into national prominence has been backed enthusiastically by the fan base. The energy during last weekend's game against Delaware was a prime example, and more of the same is expected for Elon.

"A Top 25 crowd," Charleston coach Pat Kelsey said after a 75-64 victory over Delaware. "The city has stepped up. The place was absolutely electric. It was big."

The team's 17-1 record is the best start in CAA men's basketball history, topping former member Richmond's 16-1 mark in 1985-86.

The Cougars have a balanced offensive attack with five players scoring in double figures. Dalton Bolon leads the pack at 13.1 points per game, followed by Ryan Larson (11.2). Ante Brzovic contributes 10.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Charleston won at North Carolina A&T on Jan. 4 in its first game as a ranked team in two decades. The Cougars toppled reigning CAA champion Delaware before surviving a 71-69 decision Wednesday at UNC Wilmington, which had the country's second-longest winning streak at 13 games.

The Cougars withstood a stretch of 1-for-20 shooting from the field in the second half to pull out the most recent victory. Two of the last four games have resulted in two-point victories for Charleston.

Elon (2-15, 0-4) has gone more than a month since winning a game.

The Phoenix haven't defeated a Division I opponent in coach Billy Taylor's first season and are on a seven-game losing streak. The Phoenix failed to protect a 14-point lead in Wednesday night's 80-71 loss to North Carolina A&T.

Yet there's optimism remains as more players return to the lineup.

"You never know when we're going to get that next win," Elon swingman Torrence Watson said. "We've seen the potential that we have. We just have to go get it."

Forward Jerald Gillens-Butler, a transfer from Butler, made his first start of the season Wednesday night as he works back from an injury. Max Mackinnon also was in action after missing a game with a lower-body injury.

Elon was outrebounded 49-34 against North Carolina A&T.

Taylor hopes the Phoenix can draw from some of the positives, although taking on the Cougars will be no small task.

"It will be a great challenge for us," Taylor said. "Our guys will be locked into the game plan like they always are. It's just a matter if we can execute."

This is a two-game trip for Elon, which visits UNC Wilmington on Monday for a rematch.

"That's one of the great things about our league," Taylor said. "The programs are really tough, really physical and well-coached, disciplined teams. That's what we have to build toward. It's going to take time."

--Field Level Media

Elon University Phoenix vs. Charleston Cougars Recap JAN 14TH 2023

Dalton Bolon scored 21 points and No. 22 College of Charleston put together a strong second half to rebuff Elon's upset bid in a 78-60 victory Saturday at Charleston, S.C.

The Cougars (18-1, 6-0 Colonial Athletic Association) used a 13-0 run early in the second half to wipe out a small deficit to extend their nation-leading winning streak to 17 games.

Ante Brzovic had 17 points, Reyne Smith supplied 14 points and five assists, and Ryan Larson recorded 12 points for Charleston, which was coming off a two-point victory in Wednesday night's showdown at UNC Wilmington.

Elon's Max Mackinnon collected 17 points and 13 rebounds in his second game from a brief injury absence. Zac Ervin added 11 points and Torrence Watson provided 10 points for the Phoenix, who committed 20 turnovers.

Elon (2-16, 0-5), which hasn't defeated a Division I opponent this season, led 34-32 at halftime. The Phoenix stretched the edge to 36-33 on Sam Sherry's basket.

Then the Cougars got clicking. Larson hit two of Charleston's three 3-point baskets in a 74-second span. The margin swelled to 54-40 on Bolon's 3-pointer with just less than 12 minutes to play.

Elon managed just 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Phoenix hit three 3s in a stretch of less than two minutes, but still trailed 60-49 after that burst because Smith and Bolon both hit 3-pointers for the Cougars during that span.

The Phoenix was within 66-55 with 4 1/2 minutes to play, but turnovers on its next two possessions pretty much doomed hopes of a comeback.

Charleston settled for a steady diet of 3-point launches, shooting 15-for-45 from beyond the arc. That was well more than half of the Cougars' total attempts from the field (27-for-70).

Charleston was charged with just six turnovers. Jaylon Scott had 11 rebounds for the Cougars.

Charleston has won 26 of 35 all-time meetings with Elon.

--Field Level Media