ELON, N.C. – Tyler Seibring finished with a career-high 19 points and five Phoenix players scored in double-figures as the Elon University men’s basketball team routed the William Peace Pacers, 101-68, in its season opener on Friday night inside Alumni Gym.
Seibring shot a solid 8-of-12 from the floor en route to his career-high night. In addition for the Phoenix, Dainan Swoope matched a career-high with 16 points. Brian Dawkins, Sheldon Eberhardt and Dmitri Thompson each scored 11. Luke Eddy matched a career-high nine assists and Thompson also matched a career-best with nine boards. Chris Thomas’s 15 points and five rebounds led the Pacers and Maurice Canady grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
“Credit to our players to start as well as we did considering uncertainty in the start time,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “I thought we played really well early in the game, and then I thought William Peace played really well down the stretch in the first half. We told our guys at halftime, this is exactly what we expected out of [William Peace]. We were a little bit out of rhythm, out of flow in both halves. We turned it over too much, they went toe to toe with us and we had a great game experience. We’ve got a lot to learn.”
Elon improves to 1-0 overall after the season-opening victory and William Peace falls to 0-1 with the loss.
The Phoenix opened the game with an 11-2 spurt capped off by a Thompson layup at the 16:52 mark. Elon then proceeded to use a 25-7 surge over the next 7:16 to take a 36-12 lead following a three-pointer from Swoope.
The Pacers attempted to muscle its way back to into the game over the final seven minutes of the half and made it a 15-point game, 56-41, at the break.
William Peace then opened the half with a 9-4 run to make it a 10-point game, 60-50, after John Burwell made a layup at the 15:47 mark. Elon responded with a 20-5 run in the next 6:43, holding the Pacers to just two field goals during that span to take an 80-55 lead with 8:14 on the clock.
Following a William Peace layup by Jay Hicks, Dmitri Thompson’s steal and breakaway dunk started a late second half Phoenix run over the final 7:40 of the game. Elon used a 12-2 run over the final 4:42 to seal the 101-68 victory.
– Multiple players set or matched career-highs against the Pacers. Tyler Seibring scored set a career-best with 19 points. Dainan Swoope matched his career-best point total with 16.
– Luke Eddy matched his career-high with nine assists. Dmitri Thompson tied a career-high with nine rebounds.
– Elon made 10 triples tonight after averaging 9.5 from behind the arc last season.
– It was the first time the Phoenix scored over 100 points in a game since scoring 106 points on Dec. 13, 2015 in a 106-77 victory over Wesley College.
– The matchup against the Pacers was the first official matchup between the two teams. Last season, Elon faced William Peace in an exhibition.
Elon hosts the Charlotte 49ers on Monday, Nov. 14, inside Alumni Gym. It is the second game of an Elon men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. The women face Rutgers at 5:30 p.m. Tipoff for the Phoenix is scheduled for 8 p.m.