WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Sheldon Eberhardt and Tyler Seibring combined for 49 points and helped make key plays down the stretch to lead Elon University men’s basketball to a 76-71 victory at William & Mary Saturday, Jan. 19, inside Kaplan Arena.
Down by four at 71-67 with two minutes to play, Eberhardt scored five unanswered points, including a clutch three-pointer with 1:09 remaining, and helped orchestrate a late 9-0 run that lifted the Phoenix to victory.
Elon’s (6-14, 2-5 CAA) total team effort helped clinch its first-ever victory at Kaplan Arena. Seibring finished with a season-high tying 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 4-of-5 from three-point range. With those 26 points, Seibring entered the top-10 on the program’s all-time scoring list. Eberhardt finished with a career-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Phoenix. Steven Santa Ana extended his double-digit scoring streak to 15 games tallying 12 points and adding a team-best seven rebounds. Additionally, Kris Wooten added eight points and Chuck Hannahchipped in five for Elon.
“It was an exciting and thrilling game today,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “We are continuing to take steps forward in our improvement as a team. I thought we got a lot of good play from a lot of different guys, and this is a great Elon victory.”
William & Mary (7-12, 3-4 CAA) had three players score in double figures. Nathan Knight finished with a double-double, tallying 18 points and a team-best 14 rebounds to lead the Tribe. Matt Milon led on the scoring end with 22 points and Chase Audige chipped in 13 points.
After the Tribe started the game with a 5-0 run, Elon responded with back-to-back threes from Hannah and Seibring to give the Phoenix the lead. William & Mary would take the lead again and maintain it until 9-8 at the 16:42 mark following Knight’s dunk.
Elon would then go on a 9-2 run to take a 17-11 lead following Seibring’s second three of the day at the 13:56 mark. The Phoenix would take a six-point lead two more times in the next two minutes, with the second at a 21-15 advantage at 11:43 after Santa Ana’s layup. The Tribe then drained two triples in 40 seconds to level the score at 21-21, but Eberhardt’s layup at 9:35 put Elon back on top 23-21.
The lead would change six more times over the next four minutes, until Elon would hold its advantage for four straight minutes starting from its 30-29 lead with 5:12 on the clock. The Phoenix would then lead by as much as three at 34-31 with 2:17 left in the half, but the Tribe battled back to tie up the score 36-36 heading into the break.
In the second half, William & Mary got off to a good start and led by as much as seven points three times in the opening 10 minutes. The last seven-point advantage came after Knight’s dunk at the 10:58 mark, which gave the Tribe a 57-50 lead.
Undaunted, the Phoenix mounted a 9-0 run over the next 2:10, which was capped off by Santa Ana’s driving layup, and Elon gained a 59-57 lead. The run continued after a three from William & Mary’s Milon as Elon extended the spurt to 14-3 to take a 65-60 lead after two Santa Ana free throws with 6:12 remaining.
However, the Tribe answered with an 11-2 run and fought back to take a four-point lead, 71-67 with just two minutes to go. Eberhardt would then scored five unanswered points in the next minute, which included a triple with 1:09 remaining to give Elon a 72-71 lead.
The Phoenix defended the next possession well and forced a three-point miss from Justin Pierce and Eberhardt got the defensive rebound with 34 seconds on the clock. Despite a three-point miss, Santa Ana came up with a huge offensive rebound and made two free throws after being fouled with 9.4 seconds to give Elon a three-point cushion.
Milon’s last-second three-pointer missed short and Seibring cashed in on his two free throws after an offensive rebound to secure the 76-71 victory for the Phoenix.
– Tyler Seibring moved into the top-10 on the program’s all-time scoring list after scoring 26 against the Tribe. He now has 1,602 career points and trails Lucas Troutman (1,626), who is currently 9th all-time.
– Sheldon Eberhardt scored a career-high 23 points for the Pheonix, which included a team-best 16 in the second half.
– Santa Ana extends his double-digit scoring streak to 15 straight games with 12 points against William & Mary.
– Seibring increased his career rebound total to 692, which is 43 away from the top-10 in program history.
– With his 26 points against the Tribe, Seibring tallied his eighth 20+ point effort of the season, tying his previous season-high of 26 against UNCG on Dec. 17, 2018.
– With the victory, Elon earns its first-ever win at William & Mary and inside Kaplan Arena.
The Phoenix continues its three-game road swing next week with a trip of College of Charleston on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m., followed by a trek to UNCW on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m.