Elon MBB Phoenix Faces a Hot Dukes Squad on Saturday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team hosts a hot James Madison team at home on Saturday night, Jan. 23 inside Alumni Gym. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

The game will video stream on Phoenix All-Access. You can listen to the game live on WSML 104.5 FM/1200 AM with Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger on the Elon IMG Sports Network. Pre-game coverage on WSML in Alumni Gym begins at 6:30 p.m. You can watch the action live on Phoenix All-Access with Bryan Anderson and Rajat Agarwal on the call.

Saturday marks the fifth all-time meeting between Elon and James Madison. The Dukes lead the series 3-1 with Elon winning the most recent matchup. The Phoenix defeated the Dukes 79-73 on Jan. 7 in Harrisonburg in the first matchup this season, Elon’s first-ever win against JMU.

James Madison swept the season series last season in conference play. The Dukes narrowly defeated the Phoenix 75-72 on Jan. 17, 2015 in Harrisonburg, Va. and topped Elon 86-75 on Feb. 14, 2015 in Alumni Gym. The first meeting in the series between the two schools was on Nov. 29, 1975, in Harrisonburg prior to Elon’s Division I era. The Dukes claimed a 104-94 win.

Elon’s senior class of Sam Hershberger, Tony Sabato, Tanner Samson and Wes Brewer have been a part of 66 wins during their time with the program since the 2012-13 season. They have a combined record of 66-52 since their first year with the program. The most wins posted by a senior class during Elon’s Division I era is 69 total victories, which was reached by last year’s 2015 class of Austin Hamilton, Kevin Blake, and Ryan Winters.

Head coach Matt Matheny started Tyler Seibring and Steven Santa Ana on Saturday, Jan. 16, at College of Charleston. It was the first time in the Matheny era and first time since the 2008-09 season that Elon has started two true freshmen in a game. The last time it happened was on Jan. 10, 2009 at Western Carolina when Drew Spradlin and Josh Bonney both started for the Phoenix.

This season, 38.4 percent (212-of-552) of Elon’s made baskets have come from behind the three point line. The Phoenix is shooting 35.9 percent from deep and are averaging a CAA-best 10.6 triples a game, ranked 8th in the NCAA this season.

Elon’s 18 3-pointers against the Alabama State Hornets on Dec. 16 was the most a Phoenix team has made in a game during the coach Matheny era. Tanner Samson has a team-high 61 made treys this season, while Dainan Swoope is right behind him with 43. A total of nine Phoenix have made a bucket from deep this season.

Elon as a team is averaging 15.9 assists per game this season, which is second the CAA. Luke Eddy is leading the team with 102 assists, 5.1 assists per game. He is second in the CAA in both categories.

Elon’s freshmen have made an impact during the 2015-16 season scoring 37.7 percent of Phoenix points this season. 601 of the team’s 1591 points have been scored by a freshmen, which includes 208 from Dainan Swoope, 193 from Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana has tabbed 172 and Karolis Kundrotas has scored 24.

Sheldon Eberhardt has four points. He scored his first-career basket on Dec. 13 against Wesley College and had a bucket in the final minutes against #15 Duke.

Seibring and Santa Ana have been instrumental in CAA play so far as freshmen. Seibring has averaged 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in the first seven games, while Santa Ana has notched 10.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in the first six games.

Freshman forward Tyler Seibring was named CAA Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week and the third time this season on Monday, Jan. 18. Seibring averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds during Elon’s week.

During the week, Seibring shot the ball 66.7 percent (10-15) from the floor, including 7-of-11 from 3-point range. He has now scored in double figures in five-straight contests. The freshman forward scored a season and game-high 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and assisted Dainan Swoope’s game-winning basket as the Phoenix rallied past College of Charleston, 65-64, on Saturday. The Towanda, Ill. native also scored 11 points against UNCW on Thursday.

Elon has been most successful this season when winning the tip and leading at the half this season. The Phoenix is 10-0 this season when leading at the half and 6-3 overall when winning the tip.

Elon ranks in the top-3 in the CAA in multiple offensive categories. In game averages, the Phoenix is third in scoring (79.6 ppg), second in assists (15.9 apg), and first in three-pointers per game (10.6).

The Elon Phoenix heads north for a road swing next week. The trip begins at Hofstra on Thursday, Jan. 28, for a 7 p.m. tip. Elon then heads up to Boston to take on Northeastern on Saturday, Jan. 30. Gametime is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff inside Matthews Arena.