Elon MBB Faces CAA Preseason Favorite UNCW in Wilmington

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team looks to bounce back for the start of 2017 on the road against the Colonial Athletic Association preseason favorite and reigning conference champion UNCW on Monday, Jan. 2, inside Trask Coliseum. The CAA matchup will tip off at 7 p.m.


Watch the action exclusively on CAA.tv through the Seahawk Digital Network. 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 and the pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Monday marks the 16th all-time meeting between Elon and UNCW. The Seahawks have won sox of the last seven meetings and have an 8-7 lead in the series. UNCW is 7-1 against the Phoenix in Elon’s Division I era. UNCW swept the season series in 2015-16. The Phoenix fell to the Seahawks in its last matchup in Trask Coliseum, losing 86-82 on Feb. 11, 2016. UNCW defeated the Phoenix in Alumni Gym, 91-82, on Jan. 14, 2016. Elon’s last victory against UNCW came on Feb. 28, 2015, winning 74-55 on Senior Day inside Alumni Gym.

Since making the transition to the Division I ranks, the Elon Phoenix is 5-3 all-time after losing a conference opener. Matt Matheny has a career head coaching record of 3-1 after a league-opening loss. Last season, the Phoenix dropped its CAA opener against Northeastern on before bouncing back to beat Drexel.

The Phoenix has held its opponents to under 45% shooting in the last five ball games. Prior to the College of Charleston contest, Elon held it’s opponent to under 40% shooting from the field for three consecutive games. The Phoenix held Saint Peter’s (12/18) to 33.8% shooting, No. 5 Duke (12/21) to 36.5%, and Central Penn (12/28) to 35.5% from the floor. It’s was first time Elon has done so since holding its opponents to under 40% for four straight games during the 2013-14 season from Feb. 19, 2014 – Feb. 27, 2014 against UNCG (.352), Georgia Southern (.393), Furman (.300) and Wofford (.378).

The Elon men’s basketball program has made at least one three-point field goal in 339 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, which is first in the CAA. The Phoenix averaged 9.5 made three pointers a game last season.

Head coach Matt Matheny won his 116th game at Elon on Wednesday, Dec. 28, against Central Penn. With the win, he passed Robert “Bob” Burton (1986-93) for the fourth most in program history. Matheny currently has 116 career victories and is eight wins away from passing D.C. “Peahead” Walker (1927-1937) and moving into third all-time.

Brian Dawkins is shooting 55.7% from the field and 58.8 % from the three-point line. His shooting percentage ranks second in the CAA and his three-point shooting percentage is the best in the league thus far. Tyler Seibring is shooting 47.9 percent from the floor, which is ninth-best in the league.

Senior point guard Luke Eddy reached 200 assists in his career with three against South Florida on Nov. 17. He currently sits at 231 for his career. He is currently 45 assists away from moving into the top-10 in program history. Tony Chavis ’89 is 10th all-time with 275 career assists.

The Elon University men’s basketball team cracked the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll on Nov. 28, earning a No. 23 ranking. Elon held the No. 23 ranking for two weeks, also appearing in the Dec. 5 poll. The Phoenix has since dropped out of the top-25 and is currently receiving eight votes. It was Elon’s first appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 since Feb. 4, 2013, when the Phoenix earned a No. 25 ranking. College of Charleston is ranked No. 22 in the latest poll from Dec. 26. UNCW is moved up to No. 3. Hofstra is receiving nine votes.

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.

The 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship is scheduled for March 3-6 in North Charleston, S.C., at the North Charleston Coliseum. Last year, UNCW topped Hofstra in the championship game to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Seahawks bounced back from a loss with a 76-67 CAA-opening victory at Towson on Saturday. UNCW had an eight-game winning streak was snapped on Wednesday, Dec. 28, in an 87-73 loss at Clemson. The Seahawks bring a balanced attack into the New Year’s Eve party. Sophomore guard C.J. Bryce, a rising star in the loop, tops the club with 17.6 points per game, followed by senior guard Chris Flemmings (15.7), senior guard Denzel Ingram (14.1) and sophomore forward Devontae Cacok (13.5). UNCW leads the CAA in seven statistical categories: scoring offense (86.9), scoring margin (+12.0), field goal percentage (.490), steals (8.0), turnover margin (5.36), assist/turnover ratio (1.4).

Elon continues its CAA-opening stretch of four games in eight days with a road trip to William & Mary on Thursday, Jan. 5, at Kaplan Arena. Tipoff is schedule for 7 p.m. The Phoenix then returns home on Saturday, Jan. 7, to host the Towson Tigers at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.