ELON, N.C. – Behind a barrage of three pointers, the Elon University men’s basketball team came away with a 96-80 victory over the Hofstra Pride on Thursday night, Jan. 12, inside Alumni Gym.
The Phoenix nailed 14 threes in the victory with Steven Santa Ana and Dainan Swoope leading the way with five apiece. Elon has made 10 or more threes in a game nine times this season.
Elon shot a season best 58 percent from the floor in the victory, marking the fourth time this season the Phoenix shot 50 percent or better in a game.
“We shot the ball well,” Elon head coach Matt Matheny said. “I think when you defend well, that gives you confidence. But offensively, we were confident and we were making shots, and that helps.”
Santa Ana finished with a game-high 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor, while Swoope ended the night with 18 points. Tyler Seibring scored a career-best 22 points in the victory, helping Elon to its highest scoring output against a Colonial Athletic Association school since joining the league two seasons ago.
Santa Ana pushed the Phoenix out to an early double-digit lead, scoring 13 points midway through the first session to put his team ahead, 26-13.
Elon pushed its lead to 16 points, 50-34, at the break after going 7-of-16 from three in the opening frame behind Santa Ana’s game-high 17 points. Elon shot a blistering 56 percent from the floor in the first half while limiting the Pride to a 4-of-17 (24 percent) from three in the game’s first 20 minutes.
Elon continued its three-point barrage to open the second frame, sinking three triples in the first three minutes of the second half to take a 61-39 lead. The maroon and gold led by as many as 26 points in the second half, holding the Pride at arm’s length for the remainder of the game for the victory.
Elon returns to action Saturday, Jan. 14, at James Madison. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
– Elon’s 96 points marked the team’s most in a CAA game since joining the league.
– Tyler Seibring scored a career-high 22 points.
– Elon improved to 7-2 when leading at the half this season.
– The Phoenix has now won back-to-back CAA games for the first time since winning CAA contests on Jan. 30 and Feb. 4 of last season.
– Elon has back-to-back home wins for the first time since winning four straight home games from Nov. 30-Dec. 19 last season.
– Brian Dawkins had his double-digit scoring streak snapped at eight games. His mark was the third-longest active streak in the CAA coming into the game.
– Steven Santa Ana’s 29 points marked the fifth 20-plus point game of his career and fourth this season.
Elon Head Coach Matt Matheny’s opening statement…
“Love the way we started. More so than just technical start – offense or defense – was the mindset. Bounce in our step, we were aggressive offensively. You can see it defensively more than anything. You might make a mistake, but you cover up, and we did some covering up of mistakes defensively. The other way I think I see it is when we fight through screens. I thought we fought through screens very well. It was a great first half. Shot the ball well, came back out, I thought we started the second half well and there was a stretch where we did not get stops. To Hofstra’s credit, they made us pay. They beat us to the rim and got high percentage shots, and the game got closer than we wanted. We got big stops at the end to pull away.”