Elon Men’s Basketball Falls to Charlotte in Shootout, 100-95

ELON, N.C. – Steven Santa Ana scored a blistering 32 points, a new career-high for the sophomore guard on Monday night. However, the Elon men’s basketball team was unable to overcome the 49ers as the Phoenix fell to Charlotte, 100-95, on Nov. 14, inside Alumni Gym.


The Charlotte, N.C. native scored his career-best total on 12-of-17 shooting and 5-of-9 from three-point range. Four Phoenix players tallied double-figure scoring. Karolis Kundrotas scored a career-high 16 points, while Brian Dawkins and Tyler Seibring added 10 points apiece. Luke Eddy finished with team-highs of seven rebounds and assists.

“It was an exciting game,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “I thought both teams had really good stretches and scored a ton of points. I thought the crowd was energetic and it’s just early November. We did some good things offensively. I thought we ran our offense pretty well at times and for long stretches, but defensively we only had a few good stretches.”

The Phoenix falls to 1-1 overall with the loss to the 49ers. Charlotte improves to 2-0 on the year.

“Defense has been a big emphasis for us this offseason, something that we’ve really been stressing, and clearly we’ve got work to do,” said Santa Ana. “I think our defense is definitely getting better, but down the stretch we’ve got to be able to get stops.”

Charlotte jumped out to a 24-15 lead to open the contest after a jumper from Najee Garvin at the 12:23 mark. The Phoenix responded with an 18-3 swing over the next 5:12 to take a 35-27 lead with 5:25 left in the half after two Seibring free throws. The 49ers would outscore the Phoenix 15-8 in the final five minutes to take a slight 44-43 lead at halftime.

The game was a back-and-forth affair for most of the second half. Elon was ahead by as much as six points, 73-67, with 10:12 left in the contest after a layup by Santa Ana. Charlotte responded with an 18-4 surge over a four-minute span created an eight-point cushion, 85-77, for the 49ers with 5:32 remaining.

Looking for a way back into the game, Santa Ana answered the 49ers’ run with a seven-point burst over the next minute to pull the Phoenix within one, 85-84, with just over three minutes to play. The 49ers came up with big shots, the Phoenix missed some good looks, and Charlotte capitalized on its free throws to solidify the victory.

– Santa Ana scored a career-high 32 points. The last Elon player to score 30 or more points in a game was Tanner Samson against Kennesaw State on Nov. 30, 2015.
– Karolis Kundrotas scored a career-high 16 points shooting an efficient 5-of-6 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the line. It is the first time in his career he has scored in double-figures.
– It was the second-straight game that Elon had at least four players in double-figures.
– Luke Eddy set a new career-best with five steals.

The Phoenix heads to Tampa, Fla. on Thursday night, Nov. 17, to face South Florida in the Sun Dome. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.