ELON, N.C. – Now that the Elon University men’s basketball team have completed fall semester final exams, the Phoenix returns to the hardwood up in Jersey City, N.J. on Sunday, Dec. 18, against the Saint Peter’s Peacocks at the Yanitelli Center. The first-ever meeting between Elon and Saint Peter’s will tip off at 2 p.m.
The game will be broadcasted on the SaintPetersPeacocks.com. You can also listen to the action on the Elon IMG Sports Network on 104.5 FM, 1200 AM or on the TuneIn app as Taylor Durham and Ryan Meizinger will be on the call. The Elon basketball pregame show begins at 1:30 p.m.
Sunday’s matchup is the first-ever meeting between the Phoenix and the Peacocks. Elon is 2-4 all time against members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The last time the maroon and gold faced a MAAC team was Marist on Dec. 28, 2014 at Alumni Gym. Elon is 0-2 against Canisius, 0-2 versus Fairfield and 2-0 against Marist.
BRIAN DAWKINS GARNERS CAA WEEKLY HONOR
Brian Dawkins earned POW honors on Dec. 5. He averaged 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 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.
EDDY NOMINATED FOR NABC GOOD WORKS TEAM
Eddy was nominated for the 2017 Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Team® on Wednesday, Nov. 30. A senior captain and a two-time CAA Academic All-Team honoree, Eddy has been involved in numerous community service activities throughout his entire career as a Phoenix. His community service and leadership activities include Village Tutoring, Special Olympics, CHAMPS clinic, ELONTHON, Elon Athletics Thank-a-Thon, the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee Blood Drive and volunteering at the local Turrentine and Smith elementary schools. The Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® recognizes players at all levels of college basketball whose charitable involvement and altruistic acts stand out amongst all other student-athletes participating in the sport. This esteemed award honors an outstanding group of student-athletes who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of community service and leadership among their peers.
HEAD COACH MATT MATHENY
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 two wins away from moving into fourth all-time. Robert “Bob” Burton (1986-93) won 115 games at Elon.
HIGH POWERED OFFENSE
The Phoenix was averaging 84.5 points per game in its first eight games, which was ranked first in the CAA. Elon has been held to under 70 points in its last two contests and its scoring average has dropped to 79.9 points per game, which is fourth in the conference. Elon is currently shooting 46.1 percent from the field, which also ranks fourth in the CAA and its 9.4 three-pointers made per game ranks first in the league. Elon is also third in the CAA in assists (15.1 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.
335 AND COUNTING
The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 335 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 9.4 triples per game. The Phoenix averaged 9.5 mades three pointers a game last season.
LAST TIME OUT
Prior to finals week, the Phoenix fell to 6-4 overall with a 68-56 loss at Radford on Saturday, Dec. 10. Elon was held to 33.3 (25-of-69) percent shooting and the Highlanders had the 44-35 edge on the boards. Dainan Swoope led the Phoenix with a team-high 13 points. Steven Santa Ana (12) and Brian Dawkins (10) also finished in double figures for Elon. Luke Eddy dished out a team-high three assists and Tyler Seibring grabbed a team-best nine rebounds.
Swoope drained a three with 4:48 left in the half, cutting Radford’s lead to seven, 23-16. However, the Highlanders pushed their lead back to nine 31-22 with 49 seconds to go in the first stanza. Steven Santa Ana scored five points in the final 22 seconds to cut Radford’s lead to four, 31-27, at halftime. He drained a triple and made a layup at the buzzer after Eddy’s steal to close the half. Elon opened the second half with a 12-4 run, capped off by Santa Ana’s three-pointer, giving the Phoenix a 39-35 lead with 15:14 remaining. Radford answered with an 11-0 run that thrusted the Highlanders to a 46-39 lead at 8:24. The hosts then continued its push and extended its lead to 14, 57-43, with just over three minutes to play. Elon attempted to claw its way back into the game with ball pressure and traps, but Radford closed out the victory from the free throw line.
Elon returns an experienced squad of 14 players and four starters from a team that finished 16-16 overall and 7-11 in conference play in 2015-16. The Phoenix brings back 11 players who saw action in 16 or more games and six players who averaged over eight points a game last season. Elon welcomes back four starters in seniors Luke Eddy (10.5 ppg) and Christian Hairston (8.6 ppg), as well as junior Dmitri Thompson (9.9 ppg) and sophomore Tyler Seibring (9.8 ppg). Ryder Bowline and Patrick Ryan join Eddy and Hairston to make up this year’s senior class.
Elon returns 84% of its scoring from last season and 36% of those points came from the 2015-16 freshman class (Tyler Seibring, Steven Santa Ana, Dainan Swoope, Karolis Kundrotas, and Sheldon Eberhardt). Highlighting the four returning starters is 2016 CAA All-Rookie Team selection, forward Tyler Seibring, who finished fourth on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and first in CAA points per game (11.8). Elon also made one addition in the offseason, bringing freshman guard Seth Fuller (Dublin, Ohio) into the fold. Luke Eddy and Christian Hairston will bring senior leadership on the floor. Eddy finished third in the CAA in assists last season and his 144 assists ranked 10th most in single-season program history.
SCOUTING SAINT PETER’S
The Saint Peter’s Peacocks comes into the game at 4-5 overall and 1-1 in MAAC play thus far. The Peacocks have picked up wins against Lipscomb, Fairleigh Dickinson, Boston University, and Manhattan. Saint Peter’s were picked to finish fourth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) after finishing the 2015-16 season 14-16 overall and 12-8 in the league. Seniors Quadir Welton and Trevis Wyche, as well as sophomore Antwon Portley were named to the Preseason All-Conference teams. The Peacocks return four of its five starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team. A total of 12 players are back and the Peacocks added two newcomers for 2016-17.
Elon hosts the AP No. 5-ranked Duke Blue Devils inside Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN2.