By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Freshman guard Max Mackinnon scored 22 points and Elon resumed its recent surge by toppling visiting William & Mary 66-55 in men’s basketball Saturday afternoon at Schar Center.
Sean Halloran’s 18 points and Sam Sherry’s 14 points provided boosts as the Phoenix (6-20, 4-9 Colonial Athletic Association) won for the fourth time in a five-game stretch.
“Our last few games have been just super fun,” Sherry said.
Coming off Wednesday night’s 66-61 loss at North Carolina A&T, the Phoenix didn’t let that interfere with the good vibes that have developed the past few weeks.
“They’ve been working so hard for a long period of time,” coach Billy Taylor said. “We’ve done it through a variety of injuries.”
So Elon bounced back with a crisp performance that included 50-percent shooting from the field in each half and a 40-28 rebounding edge by game’s end.
“It has been that mindset that no matter what the outcome, we have to come in and put in the work,” Sherry said. “We just keep sticking to the grind and it really is paying dividends out there.”
A season-high crowd of 2,467 gathered, supporting an Elon group that used just seven players.
“I thought there was great energy,” Taylor said. “The place was a little bit more electric today, and I thought our guys really fed off that.”
William & Mary (9-17, 4-9) lost for the fifth time in six games.
Torrence Watson’s 3-pointer pushed Elon to a 39-31 lead. Mackinnon’s drive stretched it to 43-33, resulting in a William & Mary timeout.
The Phoenix led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but couldn’t fully shake the Tribe. Halloran’s 3-pointer with 2:04 to play made it 60-51.
“I was proud of our guys for stepping up,” Taylor said.
Mackinnon reached the 20-point mark with more than 12 1/2 minutes to play. He shot 9-for-15 from the field and collected a team-high nine rebounds.
“Obviously, Max had it going and a couple of other guys had it going,” Sherry said.
Elon led 32-29 at halftime, with neither team leading by more than five points. Mackinnon racked up 14 points in the half.
Elon is home again Monday night against Hampton and Thursday night for a rematch with College of Charleston.
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