Elon Faces UNCW in First Round of CAA MBB Championships on Saturday

Posted by Press Release on March 8, 2019 at 7:56 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – No. 7 seed Elon University men’s basketball begins postseason play at the 2019 CAA Men’s Basketball Championships on Saturday, March 9, with a first round matchup against No. 10 seed UNCW at 6:30 p.m. inside North Charleston Coliseum.

GAME NOTES (PDF) | PREVIEW

COVERAGE
Watch the game live on CAA.tv or on the and the CAA.tv app as play-by-play commentator Scott Klatzkin, color analyst Mack McCarthy and sideline reporter Bobby Broyles will have the call from North Charleston Coliseum. Listen to the coverage on the Elon Sports Network from Learfield/IMG College through TuneIn, elonphoenix.com/live, or on CAA.tv. The Phoenix All-Access and Elon Sports Network coverage will be provided by Taylor Durham and Brian Morris starting with the pregame show beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m.

SATURDAY’S GAME IS…
• The 22nd meeting all-time between the Elon Phoenix and the UNCW Seahawks.
• The 2,729th game in Elon’s program history.

AN ELON WIN WOULD…
• Be the 1,413th win in program history and Elon’s 265th Division I win.
• Be the 152nd win for Elon head men’s basketball coach Matt Matheny.

THE MATCHUP
• Saturday marks the 22nd all-time meeting between Elon and UNCW. The Seahawks have won eight of the last 12 meetings and have an 11-10 lead in the series. UNCW is 10-4 against the Phoenix in Elon’s Division I era, but the Phoenix has won two straight against the Seahawks.
• This is the first-ever neutral-site matchup in the all-time series between the Phoenix and Seahawks and first time either team has met in a conference tournament.
• The Phoenix swept this year’s regular season series against UNCW. In the last meeting, Elon earned a 84-77 victory over the Seahawks on Feb. 21 inside Schar Center as Steven Santa Ana led the way with 31 points.
• In the road contest at UNCW on Jan. 26, Elon earned its first-ever victory inside Trask Coliseum and first win in Wilmington in 43 years. Elon’s last win at UNCW prior to the victory was on Jan. 24, 1976 inside Hanover Hall.
• Last season, UNCW earned a season sweep of the Phoenix with an 87-63 victory on Feb. 15, 2018 inside Trask Coliseum and an 80-78 overtime win on Jan. 11, 2018 inside Alumni Gym.
• Elon won the first-ever meeting between the two schools, earning a 79-66 victory on Jan. 26, 1974 in Wilmington at Hanover Hall.

SCOUTING UNCW
• UNCW (9-22, 5-13 CAA) heads into the CAA Championships on a three-game losing streak and has lost 11 of its last 13 games. The Seahawks closed out the regular season on Saturday, March 2 with a 70-61 loss at College of Charleston.
• First Team All-CAA honoree Devontae Cacok leads the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (12.3 rpg). Cacok’s 22 double-doubles and 381 total rebounds rank 1st nationally. His 12.0 rebounds per contest ranks 1st in the CAA and 2nd at the NCAA Division I ranks. CAA All-Rookie Team selection Kai Toews has tallied 243 assists this season and is averaging 7.8 per game, which ranks 2nd at the NCAA Division I ranks.
• Additionally, Jeantal Cylla is 2nd on the team in scoring with 13.4 per game, while Ty Gadsden is tallying 11.5 a game.
• The Seahawks have the 3rd-highest scoring offense in the league averaging 76.2 points per game and has the 2nd-highest assist total at 15.1 per game. They also rank tied for 1st in total rebounds per game (37.2) with Towson and 2nd in offensive rebounds (12.1) per game.
• In league games only, UNCW has the 3rd-highest scoring offense (75.7), lead the league in total rebounds (37.1) offensive rebounds (12.4) per game, while also ranking 2nd in assists (15.4) per game.
• C.B. McGrath, an assistant coach on the University of North Carolina’s 2005, 2009 and 2017 national championship teams, was named the 11th men’s basketball history in UNCW history on April 3, 2017. In his second season with UNCW, McGrath has a 20-43 record with the Seahawks.
• During non-conference action, UNCW faced off against some tough competition, which included Stanford in its home opener, UNCG, Davidson, #14 North Carolina and #23 Furman. The Seahawks picked up wins against Arkansas State, East Carolina, and Eastern Illinois.

SEIBRING, EBERHARDT COLLECT POSTSEASON LEAGUE HONORS
• Tyler Seibring and Sheldon Eberhardt earned postseason honors from the CAA for the 2018-19 season as announced on Friday afternoon.
• Seibring earned his third-career major award from the league collecting his second-career CAA Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor. Eberhardt was named the 2018-19 CAA Men’s Basketball Sixth Man of the Year, his first-career All-CAA honor and the first major award from the league.
• For his play on the court, Seibring earned his third-consecutive All-CAA Second Team honor after averaging 17.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in league games, which rank 9th and 11th in the CAA, respectively. He also finished 2nd in the CAA in three-point field goal percentage (.430) and 7th with 43-made three-pointers in league games.
• Seibring maintains a 3.95 GPA while double-majoring in English and Econmics and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.
• Earlier this year, Seibring was the only CAA player to be selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team, his third-straight selection. He is now included on the national ballot for the Academic All-America Team as he seeks to become a three-time honoree.
• Eberhardt becomes the program’s first recipient of the CAA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. During conference play, he averaged 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 points for the Phoenix. He also shot 85.7 percent from the free throw line and scored in double-figures 11 times during league play.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT HISTORY
• Since joining the NCAA Division I ranks in 1999-00, Elon has a 13-17 overall record in conference tournaments. Under head coach Matt Matheny, Elon is 5-9 in tournament play.
• Last season, Elon was the No. 10 seed and fell to the No. 7 seed Delaware, 86-79, in the first round of the 2018 CAA Championships. Since joining the CAA in 2014-15, the Phoenix is 1-4 in conference tournament games. Elon’s lone win was in the first round of the 2015 CAA Championships as the Phoenix defeated Towson 74-69 on March 6, 2015.
• In nine conference tournament appearances under Matheny, Elon has at least won at least one game in five of its nine appearances.
• Elon’s lone trip to a conference championship game during the school’s Division I era was in 2008 when the Phoenix dropped a 65-49 decision to Stephen Curry and to the No. 23-ranked Davidson Wildcats.
• This year marks the second time at the Division I level that Elon has been a No. 7 seed in a conference tournament. The last time Elon was a No. 7 seed was in the 2008 Southern Conference Championships, when Elon made a run all the way to the championship game and lost to No. 23 Davidson.
• This season is Elon’s 17th conference tournament at the Division I level. The Phoenix was not eligible to compete in the Big South Conference Tournament until the 2001-02 season.

ABOUT ELON
• The Phoenix, who finished with 11-20 record overall and 7-11 mark in CAA action during the regular season, heads into the 2019 CAA Championships on a two-game win streak following road wins at James Madison and Towson to close out the regular season. Elon also won three of its last four games to close out the regular season.
• Elon has three players scoring in double figures. Seibring is Elon’s leading scorer at 16.5 points and is also grabbing 5.9 boards per game. Steven Santa Ana is 2nd on the team in scoring with 15.7 points and leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game. Sheldon Eberhardt is tallying 10.1 points and 3.3 assists per contest.
• The Phoenix ranks first in the CAA in three-pointers made with 10.5 per game, which also ranks 12th in the nation. Elon’s 325 total three-pointers this season ranks 7th nationally at the NCAA Division I level.
• Seibring is currently 8th in the CAA in scoring, while Santa Ana ranks 12th in the league. Santa Ana’s 6.3 rebounds ranks 11th and Seibring’s 5.9 ranks tied for 12th in the league.
• Sheldon Eberhardt leads the team with 95 total assists, which is an average of 3.3 per contest and ranks tied for 9th in the CAA. He also has the second-highest free throw shooting percentage (.820) on the team.
• During conference play only, Elon ranked in the top-5 in a few team categories. Elon is 1st in three-pointers made (10.3), finished 3rd in the CAA in field goal percentage defense (.446), tied for 2nd in defensive rebounding (25.4) per game and 4th in assists (14.5) per game.
• Seibring is once again is playing his best during conference play. The senior is bettering his season scoring average with 17.2 points per game and his rebounding at 6.7 per contest in 17 conference games.
• The maroon and gold played 13 times at home inside its brand-new Schar Center this season, including seven times in non-conference games.
• Elon and gold returns 11 total players and three of its five starters from a year ago. One of its three returning starters, Dainan Swoope, is out for the year after having season-ending foot surgery.
• The Phoenix returns four of its top six scorers, including its 2017-18 leading scorer and rebounder in Seibring (15.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg).
• The program’s senior class is made up of four players (Seibring, Santa Ana, Eberhardt and Karolis Kundrotas). Swoope will redshirt at the end of the season and is eligible for a 5th year.
• Elon made four new additions to the squad for 2018-19 in first-year players Chuck Hannah, Andy Pack, Federico Poser and Kris Wooten.
• The Phoenix has been predicted to finish eighth in the league as the CAA released its preseason men’s basketball poll on Oct. 17, during the conference’s digital media day. Tyler Seibring collected preseason All-CAA honors as he was named to the second team.

SANTA ANA EARNS NATIONAL/LEAGUE WEEKLY HONORS
• After nearly averaging a triple-double over the final two regular season games, Steven Santa Ana was named the CAA Player of the Week and the CollegeInsider.com Lou Henson National Player of the Week.
• Santa Ana averaged 27.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists during Elon’s wins at James Madison and Towson, which included 52.5 percent (21-40) shooting from the floor and a 47.8 percent (11-23) clip from three-point range.

IN RARE COMPANY
• Tyler Seibring is ranked in the top-10 in both career scoring (1,780 points) and rebounding (772 rebounds) in program history. He is the program’s all-time scorer and rebounder during the program’s NCAA Division I era.
• Seibring is the first Elon player at the NCAA Division I level (since 1999) to join the top-10 in both categories of scoring and rebounding. He is also just the sixth player in program history to have a top-10 ranking in both categories.

SEIBRING COLLECTS THIRD-STRAIGHT ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONOR
• Senior forward Tyler Seibring have been named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District 3 Men’s Basketball Team for the third straight season, announced Thursday, Feb. 21, by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
• By virtue of being named to the first team, Seibring will be included on the national ballot for the Academic All-America Team.
• He has been maintaining a 3.95 GPA as an English and Economics double major and is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi academic honor societies.

THERE’S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
• During Elon’s three-game road trip from Jan. 19-26, the Phoenix posted a 2-1 mark, which included victories at William & Mary and UNCW.
• The Phoenix claimed its first-ever victory in Williamsburg and first win in Kaplan Arena on Jan. 19 with a 76-71 victory over the Tribe.
• Elon then bounced back from a loss at Charleston to earn its first-ever win inside Trask Coliseum with a 89-82 victory over UNCW. It was the program’s first win in Wilmington in 43 years with the previous victory coming on Jan. 24, 1976 at Hanover Hall.

DYNAMIC SENIOR TRIO
• Seniors Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana and Sheldon Eberhardt have combined for 1,276 of Elon’s 2,180 points this season, which is 58.5 percent of the team’s scoring in 2018-19.
• All three are having their best seasons of their four-year careers. Seibring is tallying 16.5 points per game and ranks 6th on Elon’s all-time scoring list. Santa Ana is averaging 15.7 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds per contest. His 1,383 career points currently ranks 17th in program history.
• Eberhardt has added 10.1 points per game for the Phoenix this year and has a team-best 3.3 assists per contest.

WOOTEN TABBED CAA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
• Wooten averaged 11.5 points while shooting 60 percent from the floor (9-15) and 55.6 percent from three-point range (5-9) as Elon split a pair of road games Nov. 18-22 during the final week of the Phoenix’s non-conference slate.
• He is Elon’s first player to earn a weekly accolade from the conference this season. He is also Elon’s first CAA Rookie of the Week selection since Tyler Seibring earned the honor for the third time his freshman campaign on Jan. 18, 2016.

SEIBRING NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
• Tyler Seibring has been named one of the 30 NCAA Division men’s basketball candidates for the 2018-18 Senior CLASS Award®
• The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
• The winner will be announced during the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four® this spring.

JOINING THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
• Senior guard Steven Santa Ana became the 43rd player in program history to reach 1,000-career points against Central Penn on Nov. 27.
• Elon currently has three 1,000-point scorers on the team in Tyler Seibring, Dainan Swoope and Steven Santa Ana. Swoope and Seibring each joined the 1,000-point club as juniors.
• Seibring was the first to join, becoming the 40th player overall and the 11th junior to reach the mark. Dainan Swoope became the 42nd player overall, the 12th junior.

RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCES
• The Phoenix have twice set a program record with 19 three-pointers made in a game this season.
• Elon set the record of 19 triples in its 98-71 victory over Milligan College on Nov. 15, 2018, the program’s first-ever win in Schar Center.
• The team then matched the mark on Nov. 27, 2018 inside Schar Center during its 92-59 win over Central Penn.

SCHAR CENTER
• Elon University men’s basketball will play its games inside its new facility, Schar Center, this season after calling Alumni Gym its home since since 1950.
• Schar Center officially opened its doors in July of 2018 and was dedicated on October, 19, 2018. The 161,000-square-foot convocation center has a current capacity of 5,100-seats.
• Not only does it serve as the home for Phoenix basketball and volleyball programs, but it also serves as an event venue that will provide a large gathering space for a wide variety of major campus events such as convocations and concerts.
• The facility is named for Dwight and Martha Schar, of Palm Beach, Fla., parents of Stuart Schar ’16 and Spencer Schar ’19.
• Among Elon’s most generous donors for the project, the Schars have contributed $13 million to the university to provide lead funding for the convocation center and the expanded School of Communications facilities, which features Dwight C. Schar Hall as the centerpiece.

HOW 2018-19 BEGAN
• Elon’s 110th season of basketball opened with a marquee matchup as the Phoenix hosted the No. 8-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on ESPNU in the program’s first regular season basketball game inside Schar Center on Friday, Nov. 9.
• Prior to that contest, the Phoenix opened the 2018-19 season on Nov. 6 on the road at Manhattan. Elon then competed in the Tiger Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 22-24, at Pacific University on Thanksgiving week.
• During its non-conference slate, the Phoenix scheduled a total of seven home contests, which have included North Carolina, Boston University, No. 25 Furman, UNCG and Canisius. The Phoenix then concluded non-conference action on the road at Kennesaw State and UMKC.

UP NEXT
With a victory over UNCW, the Phoenix would advance to the quarterfinals of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championships and face No. 2 seed Northeastern on Sunday, March 10, at 6 p.m. The matchup between the Phoenix and the Huskies at North Charleston Coliseum would be aired on CAA.TV.


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