ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball could not overcome a late run after taking a eight-point lead in the second half and fell to the William & Mary Tribe 80-73 on Saturday night, Jan. 20, inside Alumni Gym.
Elon (12-9, 4-4 CAA) was paced by Brian Dawkins, who finished with team-highs of 19 points and seven rebounds. Five total Phoenix finished in double-figures as Dainan Swoope scored 14 points, Tyler Seibring and Steven Santa Ana added 11 points each, and Dmitri Thompson chipped in 10 points for Elon.
“It was an exciting game that went back-and-forth,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “We had a great run in the middle of the second half to take the lead and then, as [William & Mary] are capable of doing, they evaporated the lead quickly and made big shots in round 10 to put the game out of reach.”
William & Mary (13-6, 6-2 CAA) was led by Connor Burchfield, who finished with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. David Cohn added 16 points and six assists, Nathan Knight scored 14 points and had seven rebounds, and Matt Milon added 13 points for the Tribe.
The Tribe made a 19-4 run over the final six minutes to overcome a 69-61 deficit. William & Mary shot 52 percent from the field and from three-point range in the contest, scoring 60 percent of its points from three. Elon did hold a slight edge on the boards 36-33 and had a 32-14 advantage on points in the paint.
William & Mary jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the opening minutes, but the Phoenix battled back to tie the contest 9-9 with 12:25 on the clock after a Dawkins layup.
The score would tie up two more times at 12-12 and 14-14, but back-to-back baskets by the Tribe made the score 19-14 in their favor with 9:51 on the clock. W&M maintained a five-point lead until the 4:28 mark with a 27-22 advantage, but Santa Ana drained a three-pointer to cut the Tribe’s lead to two points.
Following Seibring’s free throws sliced William & Mary’s lead to 29-27 with a 3:34 remaining in the half, the Tribe answered with a 7-2 run to take its largest lead of the half 36-29 at 1:42 when Cohn drilled a three-pointer on the fast break. Seth Fuller’s three-pointer and Dawkins’ baby hook led a 5-0 Elon run to end the half and the Tribe led 36-34 at the break.
The Tribe took a 49-42 lead to open the half after Cohn’s free throw at the 16:37 mark. Undaunted, the Phoenix made a 12-4 run over the next 2:49, capped off by Dawkins’ layup at 11:42 to give the Phoenix a 54-53 advantage, its first lead of the game.
Both team traded baskets until Oliver Tot drained a three-pointer at 9:45 to take a 59-58 lead. The Phoenix made an 11-2 run to take a 69-61 lead after Santa Ana’s three-pointer, but the Tribe responded with a 10-0 run to take a 71-69 advantage with 3:30 on the clock.
Thompson drove to the basket and found Dawkins for a layup to knot up the score, but the Tribe answered with a came right back and Milon drained a triple to start a 9-2 Tribe run over the final 2:06 to seal the 80-73 victory.
– Dawkins scored a CAA-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Phoenix, his 14th double-digit scoring effort on the season.
– Seibring extends his double-digit scoring streak to nine games after scoring 11 points against the Tribe.
– Elon is on its longest losing streak of the season of two games. Elon was 7-0 coming off a loss before Saturday night’s contest.
– After the Phoenix took a 69-61 lead with 6:46 remaining, William & Mary went on a 19-4 run over the remainder of the contest, limiting Elon to just 1-of-10 from the floor during the stretch.
– Swoope inches closer to 1,000 career points. The junior is now has 944 points, just 56 away from becoming the 42nd player in program history to join the club.
The Phoenix begins a three-game road trip on Thursday, Jan. 25, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Drexel Dragons at 7 p.m.