ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team had a tight first half fight with the Huskies, but a second half surge by the reigning CAA champions pulled the visitors away for good as Northeastern defeated the Phoenix 86-79 on Thursday afternoon, December 31, inside Alumni Gym.
Elon (9-5) was led by Luke Eddy, as he matched a career-high scoring 27 points, while adding five assists, two rebounds and a steal. Christian Hairston and Tanner Samson also finished in double-figures, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively. Tyler Seibring grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Quincy Ford recorded a game-high 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out two assists for Northeastern (9-5). David Walker had a double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
The Huskies opened with a 12-4 run to take an early eight-point advantage in the first 4:15 in the game.
After Northeastern went up by as much at 12 points 18-6 at the 14:21 mark, Elon surged back into the game with a 22-6 burst capped off by a Swoope three at 5:52 to give Elon an 28-24 advantage.
The Huskies and Phoenix battled back and forth the rest of the half, but Northeastern ultimately held a 40-39 lead at the break.
Elon had a 50-47 lead at the 17:21 mark to start the second half after an Eddy three, but Northeastern pulled out in front 54-50 after a layup by Ford in the paint at 15:57.
Seibring answered with a triple to bring the game within one 54-53 at 15:29, but the Huskies mounted 19-6 run 73-59 with 7:59 left in the contest.
Northeastern led by as much as 15 and the Phoenix didn’t bring the score within single digits until the final two minutes, as Elon fell to the reigning conference champions 86-79 on open conference play.
– The loss for the Phoenix was the first inside Alumni Gym in the month of December in 13 games. The last time prior to this afternoon was a loss on Dec. 1, 2012 against the College of Charleston.
– Luke Eddy matched a career-high with 27 points. He scored 27 last season on Dec. 11, 2014 against Missouri.
– Head coach Matt Matheny is now 3-4 overall in conference openers in his seventh season with the Phoenix. In the Division I era, Elon is now 9-7 overall in league openers.
The Phoenix returns home on Saturday to take on Drexel for a 4 p.m. contest inside Alumni Gym to wrap up the CAA opening weekend. The game will be broadcasted on American Sports Network (ASN).