ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team got off to a good start, shooting 60 percent from the field in the first half and holding a 43-42 lead at the break, but stifling defense from the Dukes in the second half led James Madison to an 82-64 victory on Saturday, Jan. 23, inside Alumni Gym.
Dainan Swoope led the Phoenix (12-9, 3-5 CAA) with 12 points on four triples, while Dimitri Thompson and Brian Dawkins also finished in double-figures with 10 points each. Tyler Seibring finished with a team-high six rebounds and Tanner Samson had four assists for Elon.
For James Madison (16-5, 6-2 CAA), Ron Curry, Joey McLean and Paulius Satkus each finished with a team-high 14 points for the Dukes.
Elon started the game off with a bang as Christian Hairston threw down a two-handed dunk for the first basket of the contest. Elon held a 9-5 advantage with 14:50 on the clock at the first media timeout.
After a quick 5-0 run by JMU gave them a 10-9 lead, Elon reclaimed a 15-10 advantage at the 13:13 mark following three-pointers from Swoope and Dawkins. James Madison would reclaim the advantage by as many as five and held a 32-27 advantage with 6:25 left in the first period.
Elon roared back with a 14-1 run to take its largest lead of the game 41-33 with just 3:08 left in the half. JMU closed out the half outscoring the Phoenix with a 9-2 run to cut into Elon’s halftime lead, trailing the Phoenix 43-42 at the break.
After Shakir Brown made a triple for JMU to start the half, Elon retook the lead for the last time in the game after Luke Eddy’s three-point play with 18:08 remaining. The Dukes used a 12-3 run over the next four minutes to take a 59-49 lead forcing Elon to call a timeout with 12:54 on the clock.
Two free throws by Dawkins and a layup by Eddy made it a six-point game 59-53 with 10:19 left in the half, but JMU followed up with an 18-7 run to take a 77-60 lead with 2:52 remaining in the contest. The James Madison Dukes closed out the final minutes and earned a 82-64 victory.
– It was the first time this season that the Phoenix lost a game after leading at the half. Elon is now 10-1 this season when holding a halftime lead.
– It was the 14th game this season the Phoenix hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game as a team.
– Elon was on fire from the field in the first half despite holding a one-point lead. The Phoenix finished 60 percent (17-28) from the field, including 69 percent (9-13) from beyond the arc.
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. Game time is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff inside Matthews Arena.