ELON, N.C. – Although Elon University men’s basketball was able to cut a 12-point second-half deficit to just two with 54 seconds remaining, Drexel would hold on for the 67-63 victory on Saturday night, Feb. 2, inside Schar Center.
Elon (8-16, 4-7 CAA) had three players score in double-figures, led by Sheldon Eberhardt’s 13 points. Tyler Seibring tallied just 11 after getting into early foul trouble. Andy Pack made a huge impact off the bench notching a season-high 12 points, which all came during Elon’s final push in the last 10 minutes after trailing by 12 against the Dragons. Steven Santa Ana also added nine points and nine rebounds for the Phoenix.
Drexel (11-13, 5-6 CAA) also had three tally double-figure scoring. Trevor John finished with a team-high 14 points, while Camren Wynter added 13 and Alihan Demir chipped in 12. Tim Perry, Jr. grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for the Dragons.
Even though the Phoenix were able to hold Drexel to 37 percent (10-27) shooting in the first half, the Dragons took a 12-point lead with the help of 51.9 percent (14-27) shooting in second half. Drexel also won the battle on the boards with a 37-26 advantage, which included 11 offensive rebounds.
Drexel opened the contest with a 10-3 run, but the Phoenix scored five unanswered points to cut the deficit to 10-7 following two Seibring free throws at the 12:58 mark. After the Dragons made back-to-back triples to take its largest lead of the half at 16-7, Seibring’s triple at 9:39 halted the run.
In spite of the fact the Dragons jumped out to as much as an eight-point lead, 18-10, the Phoenix would slowly chip its way back into the contest, orchestrated by Eberhardt’s 11 points, and his basket at the 4:35 mark tied up the game at 24-24.
A quick 5-0 run by Drexel over the next minute put the Dragons up 29-24, but Chuck Hannah’s triple with 58 seconds on the clock cut the deficit to two. Drexel then hit two free throws at 43 seconds to take a 31-27 lead at the half.
After Elon cut the Dragons’ lead to 31-29 at the start of the second half following Seibring’s reverse layup, Drexel took its largest lead of the game just five minutes later after James Butler’s layup gave the visitors a 49-37 lead with 14:21 remaining.
Buckets from Kris Wooten and Seibring over the next minute cut Drexel’s lead to single digits briefly, but John’s three-pointer at 11:52 put the Dragons back up by double digits at 52-41. Drexel went back up by 12 once again with 10 minutes to go as Wynter’s layup gave the Dragons a 56-44 lead.
Undaunted, the Phoenix began a comeback, which began with a 5-0 run from Pack over a two-minute span to make the score 58-52 with 5:57 on the clock. Pack would deliver again at the 2:54 mark as his second three-pointer of the night brought the Phoenix within four, 63-59.
After Demir answered with a jumper just 31 seconds later to put Drexel back up by six, a free throw from Santa Ana at 2:15 and Pack’s clutch triple with 54 seconds to go, cut the Dragons’ lead to 65-63 and Elon called a timeout.
Elon made some stops on the defensive end, but several good looks over the final seconds didn’t fall for the Phoenix. John’s two free throws with 10 seconds remaining sealed Drexel’s 67-63 victory at Schar Center.
– Andy Pack tallied a new season-high 12 points, which all came in the final 10 minutes against the Dragons. He also drained a season-high 3 triples during that stretch.
– Sheldon Eberhardt scored in double figures for the 10th time this season after tallying 13 against Drexel.
– Tyler Seibring extended his double-digit scoring streak to eight games will 11 against the Dragons.
– Seibring increased his career rebound total to 720, which is 15 away from entering the top-10 in program history.
– Drexel extended its winning streak to three against the Phoenix and levels the all-time series at 6-6 with the victory.
The Phoenix makes its northern trek next week with trips to Hofstra and Northeastern. Elon will first face the league-leading Pride on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m., followed by the Huskies on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m.