Elon Men’s Basketball Treks to Radford on Saturday

Posted by Press Release on December 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team hits the road on Saturday, Dec. 10, to face the Radford Highlanders inside the Donald N. Dedmon Center. It’s the first time the two sides have faced off since 2003. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.


The game will be broadcasted on the Big South Network. You can also listen to the action on the Elon IMG Sports Network on 104.5 FM, 1200 AM or on the TuneIn app as Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger will be on the call. The Elon basketball pregame show begins at 1 p.m.

The Elon Phoenix (6-3) used an early second-half comeback to cut into a 15-point deficit to two with 11 minutes remaining, but they couldn’t overcome the UNC Asheville lead and the Bulldogs defeated the Phoenix, 78-67, on Tuesday night. Tyler Seibring finished with a career-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Luke Eddy and Dainan Swoope added 12 each and Steven Santa Ana scored 11 for the Phoenix. Brian Dawkins grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and Eddy had a team-high five assists.

UNC Asheville pulled out to a 17-7 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Using stingy defense in the first half, the Bulldogs took a 15-point lead, 38-23, into halftime as they held the Phoenix to 26.9 percent shooting from the floor in the period. The Phoenix opened the second half with response, mounting a 20-9 surge over the first 7:05 to pull within two, 47-45, at the 11:07 mark capped off by Seibring’s reverse layup off his own missed three. Seibring scored eight points for Elon during the run. The Bulldogs responded with a 10-0 spark over the next 2:20 to take a 57-45 lead with 8:27 remaining. The Phoenix did erase part of the deficit to seven, 63-56, with 4:41 left in the game. Although Elon did not allow an Asheville field goal over the last 3:39, the Bulldogs held on for the win.

Saturday will be the 12th time that Elon and Radford have met and the first time the two teams have faced off in over a decade (13 years). The last time the sides met, both the Phoenix and the Highlanders were members of the Big South Conference. Elon won the last meeting, 84-74, on Feb. 22, 2003 inside Alumni Gym.

Brian Dawkins grabbed Elon’s second consecutive CAA Player of the Week honor after Luke Eddy earned the honor on Nov. 28. He was named the Co-Player of the Week after averaging a team-high 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds as Elon went 1-1, which included an overtime victory over FIU (84-81) and a narrow loss at Georgetown (77-74). He shares this week’s player of the week honor with College of Charleston sophomore forward Jarrell Brantley. The Jacksonville, Fla. native scored 12 of his team-high 17 points in the second half and also grabbed seven rebounds at Georgetown and tallied 17 points in just 21 minutes against FIU, including key dunk late in overtime. For the week, Dawkins shot 70% (14-20) from the floor and made 4-of-6 from three-point range. Dawkins currently leads the team in scoring averaging 13.5 points per game. Also, he is shooting 67.4 percent from the floor, which ranks 12th in the NCAA.

Eddy was nominated for the 2017 Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Team® on Wednesday. A senior captain and a two-time CAA Academic All-Team honoree, Eddy has been involved in numerous community service activities throughout his entire career as a Phoenix. His community service and leadership activities include Village Tutoring, Special Olympics, CHAMPS clinic, ELONTHON, Elon Athletics Thank-a-Thon, the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee Blood Drive and volunteering at the local Turrentine and Smith elementary schools. The Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® recognizes players at all levels of college basketball whose charitable involvement and altruistic acts stand out amongst all other student-athletes participating in the sport. This esteemed award honors an outstanding group of student-athletes who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of community service and leadership among their peers.

Head coach Matt Matheny won his 110th game at Elon on Thursday, Nov. 17, at South Florida. With the win, he passed Mark Simons for the fifth most in program history. Matheny currently has 114 career victories and is two wins away from moving into fourth all-time. Robert “Bob” Burton (1986-93) won 115 games at Elon.

The Phoenix is currently averaging 82.6 points per game, which is second in the CAA. Elon is currently shooting 47.7 percent from the field, which ranks second in the CAA and its 9.7 three-pointers made per game ranks first in the league. Elon is also third in the CAA in assists (15.6 apg).

Elon has brought back most of its players from last season that contributed to the fourth-highest scoring team in the CAA. The Phoenix averaged 75.9 points per game, were second in the CAA with 15.3 assists per game, and a league-best 9.5 triples per game. Dainan Swoope and Tyler Seibring contributed to Elon’s success behind the three-point line ranking 12th (60 3PTM) and 13th (59 3PTM) respectively. Luke Eddy also finished with 144 assists last season, which is the 10th-most assists in Elon single-season record books.

The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 334 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). The last time Elon did not make a three in a game was Jan. 30, 2006, at Georgia Southern when the team went 0-of-14 from deep. Elon is currently averaging 9.7 triples per game. The Phoenix averaged 9.5 mades three pointers a game last season.

Elon returns an experienced squad of 14 players and four starters from a team that finished 16-16 overall and 7-11 in conference play in 2015-16. The Phoenix brings back 11 players who saw action in 16 or more games and six players who averaged over eight points a game last season. Elon welcomes back four starters in seniors Luke Eddy (10.5 ppg) and Christian Hairston (8.6 ppg), as well as junior Dmitri Thompson (9.9 ppg) and sophomore Tyler Seibring (9.8 ppg). Ryder Bowline and Patrick Ryan join Eddy and Hairston to make up this year’s senior class. Elon returns 84% of its scoring from last season and 36% of those points came from the 2015-16 freshman class (Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana, Dainan Swoope, Karolis Kundrotas, and Sheldon Eberhardt). Highlighting the four returning starters is 2016 CAA All-Rookie Team selection, sophomore forward Tyler Seibring,
who finished fourth on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and first in CAA points per game (11.8). Elon also made one addition in the offseason, bringing freshman guard Seth Fuller (Dublin, Ohio) into the fold. Luke Eddy and Christian Hairston will bring senior leadership on the floor. Eddy finished third in the CAA in assists last season and his 144 assists ranked 10th most in single-season program history.

The Highlanders are currently at 3-5 overall this season against a challenging schedule. Radford will look for its third home win in as many games this season. Justin Cousin is coming off a strong performance against North Carolina, scoring 14 points and connecting on three 3-pointers. Cousin is second on the team with 21 assists, including 13 in the two prior games inside Dedmon. Caleb Tanner ranks second among Big South players in 3-point percentage, connecting at a 44 percent clip (21 of 48). He is also tied for third in the conference in made 3’s per game with 2.6 per outing. Tanner remains the Highlanders’ leading scorer at 10.3 ppg. He shot a combined 8 for 12 behind the arc in the two home wins. Ed Polite, Jr. now ranks second in the Big South with 9.0 rebounds per game, second in offensive rebounds (3.3 per game) and third in steals (2.3 per game). Radford finished the 2015-16 season with a 16-15 mark and 9-9 Big South record. The Highlanders fell to Presbyterian in the first round of the Big South Tournament last season. Radford was picked to finish sixth in the league and Polite Jr. was named to the Preseason All-Conference Second Team.

Following exam week, the Elon Phoenix returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 18, on the road at Saint Peter’s. The first-ever matchup between the Phoenix and the Peacocks will tip off at 2 p.m.

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