TOWSON, Md. – Steven Santa Ana finished one assist shy of a triple double and poured in a career-high 34 points as Elon University men’s basketball routed Towson 86-66 in its regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon, March 2, at SECU Arena.
Elon (11-20, 7-11 CAA) jumped out to a 13-point lead at halftime, 38-25, which came from the help of Santa Ana’s 20 first-half points. The Phoenix would stretch its lead out to as much as 31 points with 4:49 remaining in the contest to cruise to its largest league win on the road as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Phoenix poured it on offensively shooting a blistering 56.9 percent (33-58) from the floor and 52.9 percent (18-34) from three-point range. Defensively, Elon held Towson to just 39.1 percent (25-64) shooting overall and a 26.7 percent (4-15) clip from three for the contest.
Santa Ana tallied a new career-high 34 points, grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds and finished with nine assists as the Phoenix closed out the regular season with two consecutive road wins. The senior our of Charlotte, N.C., drained seven three-pointers on the afternoon and finished 13-of-21 shooting from the floor.
In addition to Santa Ana, Tyler Seibring tallied 16 points on an efficient 6-of-11 from the floor, including 4-of-7 shooting from three. Andy Pack was the third Phoenix to score in double figures as he added 12 points off the bench. Sheldon Eberhardtalso chipped in eight points and four assists off the bench for Elon.
Solomon Uyaelunmo was the only player for Towson (10-21, 6-12 CAA) to score in double figures as he tallied 12 points and added eight rebounds. Jordan McNeil, Jakigh Dottin, Brian Fobbs and Nakye Sanders each scored nine points apiece for the Tigers.
Santa Ana poured in 20 of Elon’s 38 first-half points to lead the Phoenix to a 13-point lead at the break. Elon made three triples in the opening three minutes of the contest to take a 9-0 lead. Towson cut the Phoenix’s lead to four with five unanswered, but the maroon and gold jumped back ahead by eight, 15-7, following Seibring’s triple at the 14:48 mark.
Even though Towson would cut Elon’s lead to just three at 21-18 at the 9:04 mark, the Phoenix extended a 7-0 run to a 9-2 surge to take a 32-21 lead after Santa Ana’s triple with 6:11 remaining in the half. Santa Ana’s floater following his initial miss at the 1:09 mark stretched Elon’s lead to 38-24 at halftime.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, the Phoenix pushed its lead to 20 points after Santa Ana’s layup put Elon in front 51-31 with 15:18 remaining. Although four straight Towson points trimmed Elon’s lead to 51-35, Pack’s three consecutive three-pointers led a 13-4 Phoenix run, giving the maroon and gold a 64-39 lead with just under 11 minutes to go.
The Phoenix would then use the next seven minutes to move out to its largest lead of the contest at 82-53 after Eberhardt’s jumper at the 4:49 mark gave Elon a 31-point advantage. Even though Towson outscored the Phoenix 13-2 over the final four minutes, Elon’s large lead wasn’t ever threatened and the maroon and gold cruised to the 86-66 victory.
– With a 7-11 mark in CAA action, Elon finishes in a tie for sixth with Drexel in the league standings. Elon will be the No. 7 seed in the upcoming CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as Drexel owned the tiebreaker over the Phoenix and earns the No. 6 seed.
– Elon’s victory over Towson is the program’s largest Colonial Athletic Association road win in its CAA history. It is also the program’s second-largest CAA win, falling two points short of Elon’s 22-point Senior Night victory on Feb. 25, 2017, an 81-59 victory over Delaware in Alumni Gym.
– With its wins at James Madison and Towson, Elon achieved its first two-game road winning streak to end a regular season since 2003. It’s also Elon’s first two-game win streak to close a regular season since 2015.
– Elon has now won two straight inside SECU Arena with its win over Towson. The Phoenix defeated Towson last season 83-76 on Jan. 27, 2018.
– Steven Santa Ana moved into 17th all-time in program history in scoring with 34 against the Tigers. He now has 1,383 career-points and needs 15 more to reach Dewey Andrew ’63 (1,398) at 16th all-time.
– Tyler Seibring ranks 6th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,780 career-points and is 19 points away from entering the top-5 all-time.
The Phoenix opens the 2019 CAA Men’s Basketball Championships with a first round matchup against No. 10-seed UNCW on Saturday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. inside North Charleston Coliseum.