WILMINGTON, N.C. – Costly turnovers by Elon coupled with a big first half by UNCW paved the way for a 82-65 setback for the Phoenix on Wednesday night, Jan. 28, in Colonial Athletic Association action from Trask Coliseum.
Elon moves even to 11-11 (3-6 CAA) with the setback, while UNCW improves to 12-8 (7-2).
“Wilmington dictated the way the game went for the better part of 40 minutes tonight,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “They really hurt us with not only their ability to penetrate our defense, but finding the guys open in the paint and the guys out on the perimeter. I thought we did a pretty good job of handling the front end of their pressure, but we didn’t make them pay on the back end.”
UNCW scored 24 points off 16 miscues by the Phoenix, as the Seahawks had its best first-half of the year with 47 points. UNCW shot a blistering 62 percent (18-of-29) from the floor in the game’s first 20 minutes, leading by 24 at halftime.
Elon outscored the Seahawks, 42-35, in the second session, but the opening frame was too much to overcome for the maroon and gold.
Elijah Bryant finished with 17 points and six rebounds, while Tanner Samson ended the evening with 14 points. Samson knocked down four threes, moving him into fourth in school history in career threes with 208.
Elon was forced into an early timeout with 15:05 on the clock in the opening frame after a CJ Gettys dunk gave the Seahawks a 13-2 advantage and momentum.
UNCW led 47-23 at the break after shooting a blazing 62 percent from the floor, including a 6-of-9 clip from deep. UNCW tied a season-high versus a CAA foe with seven threes in the game.
Elon pulled as close as 16 points in the second period on a Samson triple, but the Seahawks kept their foot on the gas and kept the maroon and gold at arm’s length for the duration.
Elon travels to Boston for its next game on Jan. 31 against CAA preseason favorite Northeastern.