ELON, N.C. – The Elon men’s basketball team begins a two-game road swing up north with a matchup with the Hofstra Pride for the second time this season on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. inside the David S. Mack Sports Complex.
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 the David S. Mack Sports Complex begins at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch Hofstra’s video broadcast on CAA.TV.
Thursday marks the fifth all-time meeting between Elon and Hofstra. The Pride have won all four previous meetings and have a 4-0 series lead. Hofstra narrowly defeated the Phoenix 80-76 in the first meeting this season on Jan. 9, in Alumni Gym. Elon did not win against the Pride in either matchup last season as Hofstra took the season series CAA play. The Pride won convincingly in both games, and the last time in Hempstead, N.Y. with an 80-69 victory on Feb. 7, 2015. Hofstra defeated the Phoenix 79-61 in Alumni Gym on Jan. 10, 2015. In the first-ever meeting, Elon played in Hofstra in Hempstead on Nov. 23, 2009, in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Matt Matheny’s first season. The Pride came away with a 70-46 win.
A WINNING SENIOR CLASS
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 66-53 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.
LET IT FLY
This season, 38.5 percent (222-of-577) of Elon’s made baskets have come from behind the three point line. The Phoenix is shooting 35.8 percent from deep and are averaging a CAA-best 10.6 triples a game, ranked 7th 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 64 made treys this season, while Dainan Swoope is right behind him with 47. A total of 10 Phoenix have made a bucket from deep this season.
DISHING IT OUT
Elon as a team is averaging 15.8 assists per game this season, which is second the CAA. Luke Eddy is leading the team with 106 assists, 5.0 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 37.6 percent of Phoenix points this season. 623 of the team’s 1655 points have been scored by a freshmen, which includes 220 from Dainan Swoope, 196 from Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana has tabbed 172 and Karolis Kundrotas has scored 26.
Sheldon Eberhardt has nine points. He scored his first-career basket on Dec. 13 against Wesley College and had a season-high five against James Madison on Saturday. Seibring and Santa Ana have been instrumental in CAA play so far as freshmen. Seibring has averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in the first eight games, while Santa Ana has notched 10.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in the first six games.
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.
GOOD START IS KEY
Elon has been most successful this season when winning the tip and leading at the half this season. The Phoenix is 10-1 overall this season when leading at the half. Elon’s loss vs. JMU on Saturday, Jan. 23, was the first loss of the season when leading at the half.
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).
315 AND COUNTING
The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 315 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). The Phoenix currently averages 10.6 mades three pointers a game this season. The last time Elon did not make a three in a game was Jan. 30, 2006, at Georgia Southern when the team went 0-of-14 from deep.
Elon heads to Boston on Saturday, Jan. 30, to take on Northeastern at 7 p.m. inside Matthews Arena. Next week, Elon is back in Alumni Gym for both games. The Phoenix faces Delaware on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m., followed by Towson on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised on American Sports Network.