Senior Marin Maric recorded his 15th career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore Jaylen Key added 15 points.
"I thought it was . . .
Elon (4-1) led by four with just over two minutes to play in regulation when a basket by Key cut the Phoenix lead to just a pair. After the Huskie defense forced a shot clock violation, NIU pulled even on a layup from Armstead with just under a minute to play.
The NIU defense got another stop to get the ball back with the shot clock off, but the Huskies couldn't convert and the game went to overtime.
In the first extra session, Elon led by a pair before a triple from sophomore Laytwan Porter pushed the Huskies in front, 68-67, with 1:36 left. The Phoenix answered on their next possession with a trifecta of their own to retake the lead by two.
Porter finished the afternoon with eight points and a team-high four assists.
With just under a minute to play in overtime, Armstead made a pair of free throws to even the contest again, 70-70. Following a defense stop by NIU, the Huskies looked to hold for one shot but were called for an offensive foul, giving the ball back to Elon with less than 25 second to play in the overtime. Elon held for one shot, but it wouldn't fall as the game went to a second overtime.
Elon scored the first four points of the second overtime before a layup from Maric cut the lead in half. The Phoenix scored the next five, including a triple from Tyler Seibring, to take a 79-72 lead with 2:28 to play in the second overtime. NIU cut the Elon lead back to five but was unable to get any closer as the Phoenix won their second game of the weekend.
Steven Santa Ana scored 20 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to lead Elon; Brian Dawkins and Seibring each added 15 points, while Luke Eddy added 10 for the Phoenix. Elon shot 50 percent (7-of-14) from the field in the two overtimes combined, including three triples, while NIU shot just 33.3 percent (5-of-15) in the overtime periods.
NIU (3-3) led by as much as nine in the opening 20 minutes. A layup from Dawkins just before the midway point of the half brought Elon within one, but the Huskies responded with an 8-0 run to take a 25-16 lead with just under six minutes to play before the break. Armstead made the first two baskets to open the run, freshman Noah McCarty added a layup and sophomore Levi finished the run with a layup to give the Huskies a nine-point lead.
McCarty scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in 13 minutes.
Elon trimmed the lead back to three, but a layup from Key, sandwiched around a pair of baskets by Armstead, helped the Huskies push the lead back to nine, 33-24, heading into halftime.
The Phoenix made four triples in just over three minutes to open the second half as they evened the contest, 38-38, early in the second half. NIU was able to go back in front by as much as six, 46-40, but Elon made eight triples in the second half, and shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field, as they continued to answer each burst by NIU.
The Huskies will conclude play in the NIU Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday when they host UIC at 3:30 p.m. The game will be preceded by Elon against Cal Poly at 1 p.m.
(Courtesy of NIU Athletics)