Elon MBB Welcomes UNC Asheville to Alumni Gym on Tuesday

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team returns home on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to begin a two-game stretch against Big South foes, starting with the reigning conference champions UNC Asheville in Alumni Gym. The matchup against the Bulldogs will tip off at 7 p.m.


The Elon men’s basketball program will be teaming up with the Elon Student Government Association and the Office of Student Health and Wellness in sponsoring donations for “Toys for Tots” on campus. You can help at tomorrow’s game against UNC Asheville. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game and you will receive a discounted ticket. The normal ticket prices of $15 adult & $7 youth will be discounted to $10 adult & $5 youth for each donation.

Watch the action exclusively on Phoenix All-Access as Matt Krause and Riley Beal will be on the broadcast. You can also listen to the action on the Elon IMG Sports Network on 104.5 FM, 1200 AM or on the TuneIn app. Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger will have the call from Alumni Gym.

Beginning this season, Elon University has implemented a new policy for bags entering Alumni Gym. All bags entering the arena will be checked before fans reach the ticket booths at the facility. Multiple lines will be available and there will be specific lines for fans entering with no bags.

The following items will be prohibited from Alumni Gym:
• Weapons
• Explosives
* Alcoholic beverages
• Outside food and beverages
• Smoking and tobacco products
• E-cigarettes
• Containers or coolers
• Flags on poles
• Hoverboards
• Pets (except service animals)

For more information on ticketing, parking and directions to Alumni Gym, please visit the Basketball Game Day web page.

Elon (6-2) finished last week 1-1 with an 84-81 overtime victory against FIU on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and a narrow 77-74 defeat to Georgetown on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the BB&T Classic.

Sunday will be the 16th meeting all-time between the Phoenix and the Bulldogs. UNC Asheville makes its third trip to Elon in the last four matchups against the maroon and gold. In the last matchup, Elon defeated UNC Asheville, 86-81, on Dec. 21, 2015 inside Kimmel Arena.

Brian Dawkins grabbed Elon’s second consecutive CAA Player of the Week honor after Luke Eddy earned the honor on Nov. 28. He was named the Co-Player of the Week after averaging a team-high 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds as Elon went 1-1, which included an overtime victory over FIU (84-81) and a narrow loss at Georgetown (77-74). He shares this week’s player of the week honor with College of Charleston sophomore forward Jarrell Brantley. The Jacksonville, Fla. native scored 12 of his team-high 17 points in the second half and also grabbed seven rebounds at Georgetown and tallied 17 points in just 21 minutes against FIU, including key dunk late in overtime. For the week, Dawkins shot 70% (14-20) from the floor and made 4-of-6 from three-point range. Dawkins currently leads the team in scoring averaging 13.5 points per game. Also, he is shooting 67.4 percent from the floor, which ranks 12th in the NCAA.

Head coach Matt Matheny won his 110th game at Elon on Thursday, Nov. 17, at South Florida. With the win, he passed Mark Simons for the fifth most in program history. Matheny currently has 114 career victories and is three wins away from moving into fourth all-time. Robert “Bob” Burton (1986-93) won 115 games at Elon.

The Phoenix (6-2) is currently averaging 84.5 points per game, which is second in the CAA. Elon is currently shooting 49.7 percent from the field, which ranks second in the CAA nationally and its 10.0 three-pointers made per game ranks 23rd in the country. Elon is also second in the CAA in assists (15.9 apg). Elon has brought back most of its players from last season that contributed to the fourth-highest scoring team in the CAA. The Phoenix averaged 75.9 points per game, were second in the CAA with 15.3 assists per game, and a league-best 9.5 triples per game. Dainan Swoope and Tyler Seibring contributed to Elon’s success behind the three-point line ranking 12th (60 3PTM) and 13th (59 3PTM) respectively. Luke Eddy also finished with 144 assists last season, which is the 10th-most assists in Elon single-season record books.

The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 333 consecutive games (not including exhibition games). 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. Elon is currently averaging 10.0 triples per game, which ranked 23rd in the NCAA this season.The Phoenix averaged 9.5 made three pointers a game last season.

Senior point guard Luke Eddy reached 200 assists in his career with three assists against South Florida (Nov. 17). He currently sits at 217 for his career and is 59 assists away from moving into the top-10 in program history.

The Elon University men’s basketball team cracked the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll on Nov. 28, earning a No. 23 ranking. The Phoenix remains at No. 23 in the latest poll released on Dec. 5. It is Elon’s first appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 since Feb. 4, 2013, when the Phoenix earned a No. 25 ranking. Elon joined UNCW, who is the only other CAA team in the Mid-Major Top 25.

The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll is now in its eighteenth season of existence. The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast, Western Athletic.

Elon got off to its best start in 29 years with a 6-1 mark through the first seven games. It was also Elon’s best start in program’s Division I era since 1999 and also the program’s best start as a member of the NCAA. The last time an Elon squad won at least six of its first seven games was in 1987-88 when the Fighting Christians, members of the NAIA, also started the season 6-1. It was also the first time in the program’s Division I era that Elon has started a season 4-0 away from home.

The Bulldogs (5-3) come into Tuesday’s matchup having won five of its last six games. It’s only loss during that stretch came to the hands of No. 5 Kansas on Nov. 25. The reigning Big South Champions were been picked to finish third in the conference in the 2016-17 Coaches’ Poll. Juniors Kevin Vannatta and Ahmad Thomas were named Preseason Second Team All-Conference. Vannatta led the squad in both assists and minutes played last year. Thomas was atop the team in field goals made and is also the team’s leading returning rebounder. This year’s team has plenty of new faces. With only eight players returning, the Bulldogs will look for their eight new players to help provide significant minutes.

The Phoenix will face its second consecutive Big South foe on Saturday, Dec. 10, on the road at Radford. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. and will be aired on the Big South Network.