Elon, Towson Clash in Early CAA MBB Battle to Start New Year

Posted by Press Release on January 1, 2018 at 8:51 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball begins the New Year with a challenging early CAA clash against the Towson Tigers on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. inside historic Alumni Gym. Both Elon and Towson were picked to finish in the top-three of the 2017-18 Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Poll as the Tigers were picked second and the Phoenix was selected third.

GAME NOTES (PDF) | PREVIEW

COVERAGE
Watch the Phoenix in action against the Tigers on Phoenix All-Access or listen to the Elon IMG Sports Network broadcast on WSJS 104.5 FM and 1200 AM, or on elonphoenix.com. Matt Krause will have the call on the video broadcast. Taylor Durham and Brian Morris will call the action on the radio broadcast with the pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m.

BAG POLICY AT ALUMNI GYM
Elon University has implemented a policy for bags entering Alumni Gym. All bags entering the arena will be checked before fans reach the ticket booths at the facility. Multiple lines will be available and there will be specific lines for fans entering with no bags.

The following items will be prohibited from Alumni Gym:
• Weapons
• Explosives
* Alcoholic beverages
• Outside food and beverages
• Smoking and tobacco products
• E-cigarettes
• Containers or coolers
• Flags on poles
• Hoverboards
• Pets (except service animals)

BASKETBALL GAME DAY
For more information on ticketing, parking and directions to Alumni Gym, please visit the Basketball Game Day web page.

THE SERIES
• Tuesday marks the 8th all-time meeting between Elon and Towson. Since the first four meetings in the series were decided by five points or less, the last three straight contests have all been decided by a margin of double digits.
• The Phoenix and Tigers split the 2016-17 regular season series as the home team won each contest. Towson won the most recent matchup 85-66 on Feb. 16, 2017 at SECU Arena, while the Phoenix won the last matchup in Alumni Gym, 72-61, on Jan. 7, 2017.
• Elon’s first win against the Tigers was during the maroon and gold’s inaugural season and first appearance in the CAA Tournament. The Phoenix defeated Towson 74-69 in the first round of the 2015 tournament in Baltimore.

FINAL SEASON OF ALUMNI GYM
• The 2017-18 season marks the 67th and final year of competition inside historic Alumni Gym as the program is set to relocate to the Schar Center for the 2018-19 campaign. The arena opened its doors in 1950.

LAST TIME OUT
• Elon opened CAA action on Saturday with a 90-75 victory over the Drexel Dragons inside Alumni Gym.
• Tyler Seibring recorded a double-double (19pts/12rebs) for the second consecutive game and Dainan Swoope scored a game-high 21 points for the Phoenix.
• Elon shot 49.1% from the floor and 46.7% from three-point range. The Phoenix also converted 20-of-22 attempts at the free throw line. Defensively, Elon held Drexel to 41 percent shooting from the floor, while scoring 20 points off 11 forced turnovers.

A LOOK AT ELON
• The Phoenix has a 9-5 record overall and 1-0 in CAA action following its conference opening win over Drexel.
• Elon is averaging 74.5 ppg and allowing 72.7 ppg thus far through 14 games. The team has only been held to under 70 points 4 times and under 60 points twice this season.
• Elon is 2nd in the CAA averaging 10.9 made three pointers a game and 2nd with 15.7 assists per contest.
• The Phoenix continues to improve defensively, only allowing teams to shoot 41.6% from the floor which ranks 3rd in the CAA. Elon is also 1st in the league in defensive rebounds, averaging 30.0 per game.
• Elon is 2nd in NCAA Division I only committing 13.3 personal fouls per game.
• Dainan Swoope is currently Elon’s leading scorer at 15.1 ppg, Tyler Seibring is 10th in the league averaging a team-best 6.2 rpg, while Sheldon Eberhardt is 6th in the CAA with 3.6 apg.
• Eberhardt has the 4th-best assist/turnover ratio in the CAA with a 2.4 ratio with 47 assists to 20 turnovers.
• Elon completed non-conference play with eight or more wins for the 4th straight year.
• Elon returned all five starters and its top five scorers from a team that finished 18-14 overall and placed tied for fourth in the CAA with a 10-8 mark in 2016-17.
• Four of the five starters averaged double-figure scoring last season, led by 2016-17 All-CAA Second Team forward Tyler Seibring, who averaged a team-high 14.4 ppg.
• Brian Dawkins finished second on the team in scoring at 12.9 ppg, while Steven Santa Ana and Dainan Swoope each scored 11.7 ppg. Dmitri Thompson posted 8.9 ppg as a junior last season.
• Dawkins, Thompson, Jack Anton, Jack George and Collin Luther make up this year’s senior class.
• Elon also made three additions this past offseason, bringing in freshman guard Nathan Priddy and forwards Simon Wright and Duje Radja into the fold.

DEFENDING WITHOUT FOULING
• Elon has not committed many fouls this season and averages 13.3 personal fouls per game, which is the second-lowest in NCAA Division I basketball.
• Notre Dame (13.1 pfpg) leads the country while George Washington (13.7 pfpg) and Western Illinois rank tied for 3rd.
• The team’s season total of 184 fouls in 14 games is the 5th-least in the country.

SWOOPE THERE IT IS
• Dainan Swoope is Elon’s leading scorer through 14 games averaging 15.1 ppg, a significant increase from 11.7 ppg last season. Swoope has scored in double figures 11 times thus far and is currently 12th in the CAA in scoring.
• The junior point guard makes 84.9% of his shots from the free throw line, which is third in the CAA, and he is tied for 1st in the league with 41 made three-pointers.
• Swoope is also 7th in the CAA in assists averaging 3.5 dimes per game this season.
• Before suffering an ankle injury in the second half at UNCG, Swoope was averaging 17.1 ppg in the first nine contests.
• He had 20+ points in four straight games from Nov. 17-22 and averaged 23.8 ppg during that span.
• Most recently, his last 20+ point game came in a 77-74 win over Radford on Nov. 22, when he scored 24.
• During the Black & Gold Shootout, Swoope matched a career-high with 26 points in Elon’s triple OT win vs. FIU (11/17), followed with a 25-point game vs. Concordia-St. Paul (11/18) and scored 20 points against Milwaukee (11/19).

PROVIDING A SPARK
• Sheldon Eberhardt has made an impact off the bench, scoring in double-figures three times this season for the Phoenix.
• He posted a career-high 10 assists in Elon’s victory over Saint Peter’s, which was the first time an Elon player had 10 or more assists in a game since Chris Long had 10 on Feb. 19, 2011 against UNCG.
• Eberhardt is currently averaging 6.5 points and a team-high 3.6 assists per contest. He also has the highest shooting percentage on the team at 49.3%.

CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
• Three Phoenix are less than 200 points away and two are less and 100 from reaching 1,000 career points. Elon currently has 39 players in program history that have reached the 1,000-point mark.
• Dmitri Thompson is the closest with 948 career points and is just 52 points away. Tyler Seibring is right behind with 947 career points and is within 53 points. Dainan Swoope has 877 career points, just 123 away. Seibring and Swoope would become the 11th and 12th players in program history to reach the 1,000 career-point total as juniors.

IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE
• Four of five Elon starters are averaging doubles figures in this early part of the season. Swoope leads the way with 15.1 ppg, while Tyler Seibring is second averaging 12.4 ppg.
• Rounding out the top scorers are Brian Dawkins, who is averaging 11.8 ppg, and Thompson who is at 10.5 ppg.
• Steven Santa Ana are right there averaging 9.7 ppg.
• Elon has had 7 different players finish in double figures this season and 6 have led their team in scoring during games.
• The Phoenix has had at least three players finish in double-figures in 11 games this season. The only three times this season Elon had less in a game was two against Radford (11/22) and at UNCG (12/7) and one at Canisius (12/17).

371 AND COUNTING
• The Elon program has made at least one three-point field goal in 371 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). The matchup on Feb. 4, 2017 at College of Charleston marked the 350th consective game.
• 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.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT NOV. 30…
• The Phoenix defeated USF by a score of 79-78 in overtime on Thursday, Nov. 30, inside Alumni Gym.
• For three straight seasons since 2015, Elon has now played an overtime game inside Alumni Gym and won on Nov. 30 for three straight years.
• Elon came back from an eight-point deficit with 18 seconds to play to force overtime and defeat Kennesaw State 103-93 on Nov. 30, 2015.
• Last season, Elon defeated FIU 84-81 in an overtime thriller on Nov. 30, 2016.

WHAT A THRILLER
• Elon erased a 13-point deficit to defeat Florida International in triple overtime on Friday, Nov. 17, to open the Black & Gold Shootout.
• It was only the second triple overtime game Elon has played since becoming a Division I program in 1999-2000.
• The Phoenix improves to 2-0 in triple overtime games since becoming a Division I program. Elon defeated UNCG 112-108 in the team’s last 3OT game on Feb. 28, 2004.

SCOUTING TOWSON
• The Tigers got off to a strong start this season with a 10-4 overall mark, but have dropped three straight heading into Tuesday’s game, including a CAA opening loss to league preseason favorite College of Charleston. All four of Towson’s setbacks have occurred on the road this season as the Tigers wrap up a four-game road trip at Elon.
• Towson is currently ranked 12th in the College Insider.com Mid-Major Poll.
• The Tigers received votes in three consecutive Associated Press Top-25 polls this season (Dec. 4, 11, 18). Towson previously received votes in the Nov. 11, 2013 poll. Both times have been under head coach Pat Skerry.
• Towson has nine players averaging double digit minutes. In addition, Towson has had seven different players hit for double digits in a game this season: Zane Martin, Mike Morsell, Brian Starr, Justin Gorham, Deshaun Morman, Jordan McNeil and Eddie Keith II. Four players have scored at least 20 points on four different occasions: Eddie Keith II, Zane Martin, Mike Morsell, and Brian Starr.
• Towson will be tough to break down defensively has they allow 65.1 ppg, the second lowest in the CAA and 37th least in NCAA Division I. The Tigers are first in the league in field goal percentage defense (39%), three-point field goal percentage defense (29.3%) and second in blocked shots (62).

UP NEXT
The Phoenix continues league play with a northern road trip this upcoming weekend, beginning with visit to Northeastern on Friday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m.


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