CHARLESTON, S.C. – Dainan Swoope drained a three-pointer after an offensive rebound by Tyler Seibring with 20 seconds remaining and Dmitri Thompson contested the Cougars’ final shot, grabbed the last rebound as the Elon University men’s basketball team defeated College of Charleston 65-64 on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 16, inside TD Arena.
Seibring led the Phoenix (12-7, 3-3 CAA) with a game-high 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and added two assists. His final rebound and assist came on the game-winning bucket by Swoope.
In addition, Luke Eddy finished with 15 points and Swoope tallied 12 points and three assists. Christian Hairston recorded 10 rebounds, the third consecutive game he has recorded 10 or more rebounds.
Charleston (10-7, 2-4 CAA) was led Cameron Johnson who scored a team-high 16 points for the Cougars. Jarrell Brantley, Marquise Pointer and Evan Bailey each finished in double-figures for CofC.
Down 10 points, 53-43 with 10:16 to go in the half, the Phoenix mounted an 11-0 run over the next 4:15, including triples from Eddy, Swoope and Seibring, to give Elon a lead 54-53 for the first time since 12:52 remaining in the first half.
After both teams traded buckets over the next 2:28, College of Charleston took a three-point lead 62-59 with 2:45 left in the game. Christian Hairston hit a jumper with 54 ticks left and Elon pulled within one, but a Cougars layup by Johnson gave CofC a three-point cushion this time with 30 seconds remaining.
The Phoenix responded with a quick break down the floor and with 22 seconds left, Hairston was fouled on a layup attempt. After making the first from the strike, Seibring came up with a huge offensive rebound, and found Swoope who drained a three to give Elon a 65-64 lead with 20 seconds left.
On Charleston’s final possession, Thompson contested Johnson’s final attempt and grabbed a massive rebound. Eddy called Elon’s final timeout with 1.6 seconds left on the clock, and Elon held on for the 65-64 comeback victory.
Despite struggling in the first half, Elon battled back from a 14-point deficit 32-18 with 2:50 to go in the period to make it a five point game 34-29 at the break. The Phoenix shot 30 percent (9-of-30) from the field and 29 percent (5-of-17) from deep in the first half.
Elon went down by as 11, trailing 50-39 with 13:24 to play in the half after a dunk by Brantley, but began chipping away into the deficit with a comeback.
Both teams finished tied up with 35 rebounds apiece, while Elon held the edge in free throws, shooting 70 percent from the line.
– With Tyler Seibring and Steven Santa Ana in the starting lineup, it was the first time since the 2008-09 season that an Elon team had two true freshmen in the starting lineup.
– The last time an Elon team had two true freshmen in the starting five was on Jan. 10, 2009 at Western Carolina when Drew Spradlin and Josh Bonney started for the Phoenix.
– It was the first time in the era of head coach Matt Mathney that the Phoenix had two true freshmen Phoenix players in the starting lineup.
– It was the first time Elon has defeated the College of Charleston since a 99-98 double-overtime victory on Feb. 2, 2012.
– It was the second win for the Phoenix this season when they were trailing at the half. The last time this season Elon won when trailing at halftime was on Nov. 26 in a 79-74 victory over Mount St. Mary’s.
Elon heads into week four of conference play with a third consecutive home and road split. First, Elon hits the road on Thursday, Jan. 23, to take on William & Mary at 7 p.m. The Phoenix then returns home to host JMU on Saturday, Jan. 25, for a 7 p.m. tip at Alumni Gym.