Elon MBB Surges Past Central Penn to Close Non-Conference Play

ELON, N.C. – Five players scored in double figures and the Phoenix held the Knights to 35.5 percent shooting from the floor as the Elon University men’s basketball team closed out non-conference action with an 89-60 victory against Central Penn on Wednesday, Dec. 28, inside Alumni Gym.


“We had a long break. To come back from break and to come back exactly where you left off is tough,” said head coach Matt Matheny, who now has the fourth-most wins by a coach in program history. “I thought we were rusty in our preparation and I thought that carried over in the first half. We challenged our guys at halftime and I thought they really played with conviction in the second half. I’m pleased with several things, but particularly with how we played in the second half.”

Tyler Seibring and Steven Santa Ana each score a team-high 18 points for the Phoenix. Dmitri Thompson chipped in a season-high 15 points and matched a career-high with nine rebounds for Elon. Brian Dawkins added 11 points, while Dainan Swoope notched 10 of his own and dished out a team-best eight assists. Luke Eddy and Christian Hairston provided a lift off the bench with six points each.

Tyrie Orosco recorded a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Knights. Najah Fink and Randy Dupont added eight points each for Central Penn.

The Phoenix opened the game with a 16-5 burst, which was capped off by Santa Ana’s layup at the 15:07 mark. Central Penn responded with a 12-2 run to make it a one-point game, 18-17, with 9:15 left in the first half. That was the closest the Knights would get to the Phoenix in the contest.

Elon’s 15-3 surge over the next 3:12 was closed out by Seibring’s three pointer with 5:46 on the clock, which gave the Phoenix a 33-20 lead. Central Penn slightly chipped into Elon’s lead as Joel Zola banked in a triple at the halftime buzzer and the maroon and gold led 44-33 at the break.

It was a positive response from the Phoenix to open the second half as Elon went on a 14-4 run in the first 3:54, which included an emphatic dunk from Thompson at the 17:57 mark. Elon’s lead was 58-37 at that point.

Central Penn cut into Elon’s lead, 63-46, with a 9-5 spurt. However, Elon was quick to respond with a 12-5 run to extend its lead 75-51 following Swoope’s layup at 8:46.

Elon then pulled out to its largest lead of the game after Patrick Ryan’s first-career three pointer gave the Phoenix an 87-55 lead with 1:39 remaining.

– Head coach Matt Matheny earned his 116th-career victory against Central Penn. He is now has the fourth-most wins by a coach in program history.
– It was the ninth time the Phoenix scored 70 or more points in a game this season. Elon is 7-2 overall in games when reaching that point total.
– Elon has now held it’s opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field in three consecutive games.
– The Phoenix is now 5-1 when leading at halftime. Its lone loss came at the hands of No. 5 Duke on Dec. 21.
– The maroon and gold improves to 7-2 this season when four or more players score in double figures. Seibring (18), Santa Ana (18), Thompson (15), Dawkins (11), and Swoope (10) all scored in double figures.
– Dmitri Thompson scored a season-high 15 points, which includes 10 in the second half.
– Brian Dawkins scored in double-figures for the fourth straight game and for a team-high 11th time this season.
– Senior Patrick Ryan made his first-career three pointer with 1:39 remaining to give the Phoenix an 87-55 lead.

Elon opens up its Colonial Athletic Association slate on New Years Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31, against College of Charleston inside Alumni Gym. The game will tip off at 2 p.m.