HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Elon University men’s basketball team turned in a strong defensive effort holding the Dukes to 38 percent shooting from the field and the Phoenix defeated James Madison 79-73 on Thursday, Jan. 7, inside the Convocation Center.
Elon (11-5, 2-1 CAA) held a James Madison (11-5, 1-2 CAA) team to 5-of-28 from behind the arc. The Dukes came into the game averaging 9.8 triples a game. The Phoenix was led by Steven Santa Ana as he posted his first-career double-double with a season-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Luke Eddy was instrumental down the stretch, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half. Tyler Seibring and Christian Hairston each flirted with double-doubles as they both scored in double figures. Seibring finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Hairston scored 10 points and grabbed nine boards of his own.
Ron Curry led the Dukes with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Dimitrije Cabarkapa scored 18 for James Madison.
The Phoenix got off to a fast start going on a 7-2 run over the first two minutes, but the Dukes responded with a 10-0 run to take a 12-7 lead at 14:04 after a Cabarkapa jumper.
The half was back and forth between both sides and saw eight lead changes, but the Phoenix held the 32-31 lead at the break.
Elon got off to a hot start in the second stanza with an 18-5 run over the first 6:30 to pull out to a 50-36 lead following a Santa Ana jumper at the 14:37 mark.
The Phoenix maintained its double-digit lead until a James Madison layup with 6:50 to go in the game to make it a 62-54 game. Eddy responded just a few seconds later with a triple over Curry to put the Phoenix in front 65-54.
Although Elon maintained a strong cushion over the next six minutes, the Dukes made it a six-point game 76-70 with 29 seconds remaining and called a timeout. Elon made a couple free throws and James Madison missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds as the Phoenix held on to the 79-73 road victory over Dukes.
– Elon improves to 10-0 this season when leading at the half. Elon’s only win this season when trailing was against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 27, 2015.
– Elon held James Madison to 38 percent from the field. The Dukes came into the game second in the league shooting 46 percent from the field.
– It was Elon’s first-ever victory over the Dukes as James Madison led 3-0 in the series heading into the contest.
– The Phoenix improves to 4-1 this season when holding opponents to under 40% from the field and it’s the first time this season that Elon has held two consecutive opponents under 40 percent from the field.
– This is now the third consecutive season the Phoenix has started 2-1 in conference play three consecutive seasons.
– Both Santa Ana and Seibring have been instrumental in CAA play as freshmen. Santa Ana has averaged 14 points and 5.7 rebounds, while Seibring has notched 11.3 points and six rebounds.
– Eddy recorded at least five assists for the 12th time in the last 14 games and has done so in each CAA game thus far.
Elon returns to Alumni Gym for a home contest against preseason favorite Hofstra on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on American Sports Network (ASN). The Phoenix has a CAA home and road split next week with a home game on Jan. 14 vs. UNCW and a road contest at College of Charleston on Jan. 16.