ELON, N.C. – The Elon men’s basketball team faces a challenging CAA test against the league leaders UNCW on Thursday night, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. inside Trask Coliseum.
You can listen to the game live on WSML 104.5 FM/1200 AM with Taylor Durham and John Roddey on the Elon IMG Sports Network. Pre-game coverage on WSML in Trask Coliseum begins at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch UNCW’s video broadcast on CAA.TV.
Thursday marks the 15th all-time meeting between Elon and UNCW. The Seahawks have won five of the last six meetings but the series is tied at 7-7. In the first meeting this season, UNCW defeated Elon 91-82 on Jan. 14 at Alumni Gym. Elon and UNCW split the season series last year in CAA play with the home team winning each contest. The Seahawks defeated the Phoenix 82-65 in Trask Coliseum on Jan. 28, 2015, but Elon topped UNCW 74-55 on Senior Day, Feb. 28, 2015. Prior to Elon’s win against UNCW last season, UNCW had a five-game winning streak in the series dating back to 2004. Seahawks have the upper hand 6-1 during Elon’s Division I era. Elon was 6-0 against UNCW prior to the switch to Division I.
LAST TIME OUT
Timajh Parker-Rivera blocked Luke Eddy’s game-tying layup attempt with 3.4 seconds left to secure Towson’s 81-77 victory over Elon. 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 by Towson. Thompson matched a career-high with 21 points for the maroon and gold.
Dainan Swoope finished in double-figures with 10 points, while adding a team-high three assists. The Phoenix trailed by three at the half, 41-38 and Towson got out to an 11-point lead early in the second half. After Elon took its first lead of the second half 69-68, Towson mounted an 8-2 run to take a 76-71 lead with 2:44 left in the contest. The Phoenix chipped its way back into the game making it a two-point game with 27 seconds left.
Elon’s freshmen have made an impact during the 2015-16 season scoring 35.8 percent of Phoenix points this season. 700 of the team’s 1950 points have been scored by a freshmen, which includes 248 from Dainan Swoope, 231 from Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana has tabbed 172, Karolis Kundrotas has scored 29 and Sheldon Eberhardt has 20.
The three freshmen that have had the most playing time has made an impact for the Phoenix in conference play. Seibring has averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in the first 12 games. Steven Santa Ana notched 8.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in seven CAA contests. Dainan Swoope is averaging 8.4 points in conference play.
SHARING THE WEALTH
A total of eight different Elon players have led the team in scoring in 12 CAA games this season. Thompson had been the high-scorer in a team-most three conference games. Only Luke Eddy (2), Tanner Samson (2), and Tyler Seibring (2) and been the scoring leader in more than one CAA game this season.
A WINNING SENIOR CLASS
Elon’s senior class of Sam Hershberger, Tony Sabato, Tanner Samson and Wes Brewer have been a part of 68 wins during their time with the program since the 2012-13 season. They have a combined record of 68-54 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.
DISHING IT OUT
Elon as a team is averaging 15.9 assists per game this season, which is second the CAA and 43rd in the NCAA. Luke Eddy is leading the team with 121 assists, 4.8 assists per game. He is second in the CAA in both categories.
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 11-1 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-three in the CAA in multiple offensive categories. In game averages, the Phoenix is third in scoring (78.0 ppg), second in assists (15.9 apg), and first in three-pointers per game (9.8).
319 AND COUNTING
The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 319 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). The Phoenix currently averages 9.8 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.
The Elon Phoenix returns home on Saturday, Feb. 13, to host College of Charleston for a 7 p.m. tipoff inside Alumni Gym. Next week, Elon hits the road for a matchup at Drexel on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., followed by a trip to Towson for a noon tipoff on Saturday, Feb. 20, which will be aired on Comcast Sports Network (CSN).