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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Elon Edges Men's Basketball 70-69 in Thriller

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NEW YORK  - Elon's Jack Isenbarger hit a three pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the Phoenix a 70-69 win over Columbia in Levien Gymnasium on Saturday, December 22.  

Columbia trailed by as many as 11 points with 15:42 to play. The Lions went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to two with 13:09 remaining. Elon got baskets by Egheosa Edomwonyi and Austin Hamilton to extend the lead to six, but Columbia answered with a three-pointer by Grant Mullins to chip at the lead again. Mark Cisco hit a jumper and Steve Frankoski hit his second trey of the game to give Columbia the one-point lead at the 10:54 mark.

The teams traded baskets until back-to-back baskets by Frankoski and a three by Maodo Lo gave Columbia a five-point lead with 4:55 to play.

Ryley Beaumont hit a three to cut the Lions' lead to three, but Lo answered with a trey to preserve the Columbia advantage.  

Isenbarger hit a jumper and a three to cut the lead to one with 3:18 to play, but Frankoski answered with yet another three pointer to give the Lions a four-point lead with 2:46 remaining. Beaumont cut the Columbia advantage in half with a jumper with just under two minutes to play and that is when all the action happened.

Neither team could make a shot in the final minute, but Columbia got a shot to extend the lead when Barbour was fouled with 21 seconds to play. Barbour missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Cisco grabbed an impressive rebound to kick the ball back out to a waiting Frankoski. Frankoski missed another front end foul shot, and this time Elon got the ball with 17 seconds left.  

The Lions played great defense and as time wound down, it looked like overtime was evident, until Isenberger hit an off-balance three with 2.3 on the clock to win the game for Elon.

Columbia got off a shot as time expired but it rimmed in and out.

Frankoski led the Lions with 20 points, including 17 in the second half.  Brian Barbour added nine points, a career-high 12 assists and three steals in the loss.

The Lions return to action on Saturday, Dec. 29 against Manhattan at Levien Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m.

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