ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team used a hot first 22 minutes to pull out to a nine-point lead, 44-35. However, the visiting Tribe shot a blistering 62.5 percent in the second half to spoil the maroon and gold’s Senior Night with a 75-65 victory on Thursday, Feb. 25, inside Alumni Gym.
Elon (15-15, 6-11 CAA) recognized its four-member senior class of Wes Brewer, Sam Hershberger, Tony Sabato and Tanner Samson before the game. Samson scored 19 points to lead the Phoenix and Luke Eddy added 12 to the score sheet. Steven Santa Ana recorded a team-high four assists.
William & Mary had four players in double figures, led by Omar Prewitt’s 19 points and seven rebounds. Terry Tarpey added 18 points and seven rebounds of his own for the Tribe.
After the Senior Night pregame festivities, Elon got off to a rocking start with three pointers from Samson and Eddy. The Tribe pulled back, and the game was tied 7-7 with 16:10 on the clock. Following an 11-11 tie at the 13:15 mark, Samson hit two more bombs to give the Phoenix a 17-11 lead.
William & Mary trudged back to tie the game for the fifth and sixth times at 26-26 and 28-28 with 6:28 to go in the half. Elon ended the half strong and surged out to a 39-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After a solid first half of play, Elon rode the momentum into the beginning of the second stanza, extending its lead to nine 44-35 with 18:19 left in the contest. The Phoenix held as much as a six point lead, 56-50, with just over 10 minutes to play after a Tyler Seibring layup.
The Tribe tied it up for the seventh time in the contest, using a 7-1 run to knot up the score 57-57 with nine minutes remaining. However, Samson’s triple regained the lead for Elon, 60-57, at the 8:05 mark. William & Mary took its first lead of the second half 64-63 with 4:44 on the clock, the first lead for the Tribe since 28-26 with 6:49 to go in the first stanza.
Although an Eddy jumper with 4:13 on the clock gave Elon a 65-64 lead, the Tribe held the Phoenix scoreless over the final four minutes, using an 11-0 run to clinch a 75-65 win.
– Elon honored four seniors, Wes Brewer, Sam Hershberger, Tony Sabato, and Tanner Samson before the game.
– After falling to the Tribe, the Phoenix is now locked into the No. 8 seed for the CAA Tournament and will face Drexel on Friday, March 4, at 6 p.m. inside Royal Farms Arena.
– This year’s senior class has 69 wins during their tenure, which is tied for the most for a senior class during Elon’s Division I era.
– It was only the second loss for the Phoenix this season when leading at the half as Elon is now 11-2 in those games. The other loss was against JMU on Jan. 23.
The Phoenix hits the road for its regular season finale at Delaware on Saturday, Feb. 27, for a 2 p.m. tipoff inside the Bob Carpenter Center. Elon will then begin its journey through the 2016 CAA Men’s Basketball Championships on Friday, March 4, against Drexel inside Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.