ELON, N.C. – Dimitri Thompson’s layup cut into the Tigers’ lead 79-77 with 27 seconds left and the Phoenix got the ball after two missed free throws. However, a Timajh Parker-Rivera block on Luke Eddy’s layup attempt with 3.4 seconds left secured Towson’s 81-77 victory over the Elon University men’s basketball team on Saturday night, Feb. 6, in Alumni Gym.
Thompson matched a career-high with 21 points for Elon (14-11, 5-7 CAA) and Dainan Swoope also finished in double-figures with 10 points, while adding a team-high three assists. Tanner Samson led the team with five rebounds in the loss.
William Adala Moto led Towson (17-8, 8-4 CAA) with a game-high 27 points, while chipping in eight rebounds and three steals. Mike Morsell also finished with eight rebounds and scored in 15 points for the Tigers.
“I loved the fight in our team,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “It was a grueling battle and we did some good things, but in the first half we turned it over way too many times. We got behind by 10 or 11 and our answer was to go zone, and I thought our guys really responded well, and fought our way back into it and took the lead. To fight all the way back with a shot to tie or take the lead in the last 10 seconds, it just shows the fight in our team.”
It was a battle from the start as Towson gained a slim 10-9 lead with 12:41 left in the half. Elon surged to a 16-10 lead with a 7-0 run capped off by an Eddy layup with 9:42 on the clock.
Just several minutes later, the Tigers came back to cut Elon’s lead to 19-17 at the 8:20 mark, but the Phoenix got up by five 24-19 after a three-point play by Thompson. Towson responded, battling back to take a 26-24 lead with a quick 7-0 run of its own. In a half that saw six lead changes, the Tigers had the edge 41-38 at halftime.
It was a back-and-forth affair between both sides to open the second half, and Elon came back to tie the game 47-47 at the 16:27 mark. Using a 14-3 run over the next 4:12, Towson surged to its largest lead of the game 61-50 with 11:51 left in the half.
The maroon and gold bounced back with its own 10-3 run to make it a two game with 7:58 on the clock, cutting into the Tigers’ lead 64-62 after a Tyler Seibring jumper. Elon took its first lead of the second half 69-68 after a sweet up-and-under move by Seibring to the basket for a layup with just 5:57 remaining.
Towson mounted an 8-2 run to take a 76-71 lead with 2:44 left in the contest. Undaunted, the Phoenix fought its way back into the game to make it 79-77 with 27 seconds to go after a Thompson layup.
After a pair of Towson missed free throws by John Davis, Eddy drove the ball down the court with Elon looking at a chance to tie the game or take the lead. Eddy threw up a high arcing layup attempt, but Parker-Rivera blocked his shot with 3.4 seconds on the clock. The Tigers made their last free throws to solidify the 81-77 victory.
– Dmitri Thompson matched his career-high with 21 points against Towson. The last time he reached the mark was at Charlotte on Nov. 13, 2015.
– With the four-point loss tonight, five of Elon’s 12 conference games have been decided by five points or less.
– The Phoenix falls to 3-10 overall this season when trailing at the half. Two of the three wins have come in conference play.
– Thompson scored 20 or more points in a game for the second time this season. Only Tanner Samson (5) and Luke Eddy (2) have done so on multiple occasions.
Next week, Elon will face a pair of teams for the second time this season. The Phoenix heads to Wilmington, N.C. to take on the league leaders UNCW on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. Elon will then return home on Saturday, Feb. 13, to host College of Charleston for a 7 p.m. tipoff inside Alumni Gym.