NEWARK, Del. – The Elon University men’s basketball team fell to the Delaware Blue Hens, 76-74, in overtime on Thursday, Feb. 9, inside the Bob Carpenter Center.
Ryan Daly’s jumper for Delaware with 1.5 seconds remaining in the second half sent the game to overtime knotting up the score 59-59 at the end of regulation. The Blue Hens would pull away midway through the overtime period to secure the win.
Elon (15-11, 7-6 CAA) had four players score in double figures, led by Dainan Swoope’s game-high 21 points. Steven Santa Ana recorded his second-career double double for the Phoenix as he finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Luke Eddy added 14 points and five assists off the bench. Tyler Seibring scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards.
“It’s tough to win,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “I think our players were ready to play, but I thought Delaware was the aggressor. Delaware was definitely locked in. They are very challenging to guard, one of the more difficult teams for us to guard in this last stretch of 10 games. We fought, and we had a chance to come out of here with a victory.”
Delaware (10-16, 3-10 CAA) was led by Ryan Daly’s double double as he finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Cazmon Hayes also finished in double figures with 13 points and seven rebounds. Darian Bryant added 14 points for the Blue Hens.
Although the Phoenix held the 47-36 edge on the glass, Delaware held Elon to 40.7 percent shooting for the contest and only turned the ball over five times. The score was tied 10 times and there were 16 lead changes throughout the contest.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half as Elon shot 40.7 percent and Delaware finished at 37.9 percent and the game was tied 30-30 after 20 minutes of action.
The Blue Hens took its largest lead of the half, 16-11, with 9:32 clock after Daly’s jumper. Swoope’s three-point play put the Phoenix ahead 30-29 with 1:12 remaining in the stanza, but Eric Carter split a pair of free throws to knot up the score.
The largest lead by either team was four in the second half. Delware was the first to jump out to a 49-45 lead with 6:56 on the clock after a jumper by Anthony Mosley. The Phoenix responded with a 10-2 run to take a 55-51 lead, capped off by Eddy’s layup with 3:15 remaining in the period.
The Blue Hens battled back, but the maroon and gold regained a 59-57 lead with 15 seconds on the clock after Santa Ana’s free throw. Daly’s jumper with 1.5 seconds on the clock forced the game to go to overtime.
Delaware opened overtime with a 9-4 run to take a 68-63 lead with 1:56 remaining. The Phoenix attempted to claw its way back after two Seibring free throws, but the Blue Hens held on for the win.
The Phoenix returns to Alumni Gym on Saturday, Feb. 11, to host league-leaders UNCW at 4 p.m.
– Steven Santa Ana recorded his second-career double double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. It’s the first double double by an Elon player this season.
– Dainan Swoope recorded 21 points for the Phoenix, the third time he has scored 20+ points in a game this season. Five different Elon players have scored 20 or more in a game this season.
– Luke Eddy finished with five assists against Delaware and now has 275 for his career. He is currently tied for 10th in program history and needs one more to move past Tony Chavis ’89 into the top-10 of the program’s career-assists leaders.
– Delaware picked up its first-ever victory against the Phoenix as Elon had won the last five meetings. The maroon and gold leads the series 5-1.