WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team couldn’t complete a second-half comeback after an 11-point deficit, suffering an 86-82 setback against the league leading UNCW Seahawks on Thursday, Feb. 11, inside Trask Coliseum.
Tyler Seibring led the Phoenix (14-12, 5-8 CAA), matching a season-high 18 points and added five rebounds. Three other Elon players finished in double figures. Luke Eddy finished with 15 points, Christian Hairston finished with 14 off the bench and Dimitri Thompson scored 12 and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for the Phoenix.
Jordan Talley led the way for the Seahawks (19-8, 11-2 CAA) with 19 points, four rebounds and two assists. Denzel Ingram added 18 points and two rebounds for UNCW.
It was a tight game in the first five minutes with the Seahawks holding a 9-8 lead at the 15:10 mark. Thompson’s bucket after the media timeout gave the Phoenix its first lead of the game 10-9. UNCW then surged out to a 23-15 lead using a 12-5 run over the next 3:17.
Elon made it a two-point game 25-23 with a quick 6-2 run, but the Seahawks climbed to its largest lead of the half 42-31 with 1:54 left in the half. Elon closed out the half with a 7-2 spurt to cut into UNCW’s lead 44-38 heading into the break.
In the second half, Elon started with a 5-0 run after a layup by Seibring and a three from Dawkins to make the score 44-43 in favor of UNCW. The Seahawks answered with a 12-5 run over the next 3:03 to take a 56-48 lead.
The Phoenix was not fazed making it a one-point game 60-59 with an 11-4 surge over the next 4:36 capped off by a Dainan Swoope layup at the 10:19 mark. Both teams battled back and forth keeping the game within reach. UNCW pulled out to a five point lead, 70-65, with 6:35 remaining, but the Phoenix did not quit, cutting into the deficit 70-69 with 3:28 left in the game.
A quick 6-2 run by UNCW over the next minute gave the host a 80-75 lead, but three Elon free throws made it 80-78 with 48 seconds to go. Ingram nailed a jumper for UNCW and Eddy made a layup to keep it a two-point game, but the Seahawks made their free throws down the stretch, holding on to the 86-82 victory.
– Dimitri Thompson finished in double figures for the fifth time in the last six games. It was the seventh time for Thompson overall in conference play.
– Tyler Seibring matched a season-high 18 points. He also scored 18 points at College of Charleston (Jan. 16) and at William & Mary (Jan. 21).
– It was the fourth time in conference play that Elon has scored 80 or more points. The Phoenix are now 2-2 overall in those games. Two of those games have come against the Seahawks and the Phoenix is 0-2 against UNCW.
– Elon finished 5-of-16 from three-point range on Thursday night. It was only the second time the Phoenix has been held to five or less made threes in a game this season.
Elon returns home on Saturday, Feb. 13, to host the College of Charleston Cougars at 7 p.m. inside Alumni Gym.