HARRISONBURG, Va. – Elon University men’s basketball took as much as a 23-point advantage in the second half and never looked back as the Phoenix earned a regular-season sweep of James Madison, cruising to a 73-58 victory on Thursday night, Feb. 28, inside the Convocation Center.
Elon (10-20, 6-11 CAA) jumped out to a 14-point lead at halftime thanks to an early 17-2 run and a strong defensive effort in the opening 20 minutes as the Phoenix held the Dukes to just 38.5 percent from the floor. Elon would stretch its lead to as much as 23 in the first 8:30 of the second half and answered JMU’s run midway through the second half to earn the victory.
The Phoenix had three players score in double figures, led by Steven Santa Ana’s game-high 20 points along team-highs of nine rebounds and seven assists. Tyler Seibring added 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from three-point range, while Sheldon Eberhardt chipped in 15 points off the bench for the Phoenix.
James Madison (13-17, 6-11 CAA) finished with four players in double figures and were led by Darius Banks’ 15 points and six rebounds. Dwight Wilson added 12 points and five boards, while Matt Lewis and Stuckey Mosley contributed with 10 points apiece. Additionally, Deshon Parker finished with a game-high eight assists for the Dukes.
After James Madison took a 5-2 lead in the opening minutes, Santa Ana’s three-pointer from the logo at half court at the 17:12 mark to beat the shot clock ignited a 17-2 Elon run over the next 4:06. That run was ended by a 14-0 spurt and the Phoenix took a 19-7 lead with 13:09 remaining in the half.
James Madison would get a dunk from Wilson right after the run, but wouldn’t score its fifth-straight point until a triple after a 5:05 scoring drought from both teams sliced the Phoenix lead to 19-12. However, Santa Ana ended the Phoenix scoring slump with his fourth triple to give the Phoenix a 22-12 lead at the 7:47 mark.
Although the Dukes battled back with a 9-0 run to cut Elon’s lead to 22-21 at the 5:13 mark, the Phoenix stormed ahead using a 16-3 run over the final minutes of the half to take a 38-24 lead at the break. Elon would close out the run with 10 straight points over the final 3:32 of the half.
Elon continued its surge into the second half and took its largest lead of the game of 23-points in the opening 8:30 of the half, building up to a 59-36 advantage. After the Phoenix led 61-38 at the 11:36 mark, James Madison chipped into the Elon lead with an 10-0 run over a 3:59 span to cut Elon’s lead to 61-48.
Undaunted, the Phoenix used an 8-2 spurt capped off by Andy Pack’s layup at the 3:05 mark to push its lead back out to 20-points at 70-50. JMU’s final five points got the Dukes within 15 points, but never troubled Elon over the final three minutes as the maroon and gold claimed the regular-season sweep in the 73-58 victory.
– Tyler Seibring ranks 6th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,764 career-points and is 35 points away from entering the top-5 all-time.
– Steven Santa Ana is 18th all-time in program history in scoring with 1,349 career-points and needs 32 more to move into 17th.
– With the victory, Elon completes the regular season sweep of James Madison and narrows the all-time series deficit to 7-4.
– The Phoenix has now swept two CAA teams during the regular season with two victories against UNCW and now James Madison.
– Elon earned its first victory in Harrisonburg since its 79-73 win over the Dukes on Jan. 7, 2016.
The Phoenix will face Towson in its regular season finale on Saturday, March 2, inside SECU Arena. The contest is set for a 2 p.m. tip-off.