HARRISONBURG, VA. – Elon University sophomore Tyler Seibring missed a jumper with seconds remaining and the James Madison Dukes held on for the 60-59 victory on Thursday, Jan. 14, inside the Convocation Center.
After two second-chance points from Brian Dawkins and a steal by Seibring, the Phoenix had the final possession with 5.4 seconds remaining with a chance to win. Seibring got a good look but his shot hit off the rim.
“I love our guys’ toughness,” Elon head coach Matt Matheny said. “We talked about being road warriors and adversity. Adversity struck with about seven or eight minutes to go when they took the lead and it looked like [the game] was going to get away from us. I couldn’t be any prouder of our team the way we dealt with late-game situations. We got great looks, knocked down late threes, got an offensive-rebound putback, and got a great look. I’m proud of the way our guys fought.”
Seibring finished with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Dawkins added 15 points and five boards. Thompson also finished in double-figures with 10 first-half points. Dainan Swoope added six points and a team-high six assists.
The Dukes held the Phoenix to 41.1 percent shooting for the contest and had a large 41-25 advantage on the boards. Yohanny Dalembert led JMU with a double double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Jackson Kent finished with a game-high 21 points.
It was a three-point barrage for the Phoenix as Elon went 9-of-19 from deep in the first clip. Tyler Seibring’s back-to-back threes just over five minutes into the contest helped the Phoenix take a six-point lead, 17-11, midway through the first half. Elon was 5-of-10 from three to that point.
James Madison rallied to tie the game, 21-21, at the 4:16 mark following two Dalembert free throws. Elon answered with three-pointers from Swoope and Thompson to retake a six-point lead with 2:56 left in the first half. Thompson put back a missed triple right before the buzzer to give the Phoenix a five-point lead at halftime.
The Dukes cut Elon’s lead to one, 42-41, after Kent’s three with 10:22 in the second half, but a three-point play by Brian Dawkins after a circus shot put the Phoenix in front 45-41 at the halfway mark of the half.
Following a 49-44 lead with 7:29 remaining, James mounted a 13-2 run over a 5:21 span to take a 59-53 lead. Santa Ana and Seibring made three pointers to mount a 6-2 Phoenix run, making it a two-point game, 59-57, with 53 seconds to go.
After JMU split a pair of free throws, Dawkins’ had a big offensive rebound and putback with 35 seconds remaining to cut JMU’s lead to one, 60-59. After Seibring stole the Dukes’ inbounds pass, his shot with seconds remaining missed and the Dukes held on for the win.
Elon returns to Alumni Gym for two consecutive home games. The Phoenix hosts Drexel on Thursday, Jan. 19 and William & Mary on Saturday, Jan. 21. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m.
– Elon falls to 7-3 this season when leading at halftime.
– Brian Dawkins finished with 15 points, the 16th game this season he has scored in double-figures.
– Elon did not commit its first turnover of the game against JMU until 24 minutes into the game. The Phoenix committed seven turnovers in the second half.
– With 17 points against James Madison, Tyler Seibring has scored 15 or more points in eight games this season.
Elon Head Coach Matt Matheny’s opening statement…
“I think our team has played with a great mindset the last several games and that continued today. I liked our ability to be tough-minded throughout, what I thought, all-40 minutes. I thought we had a great aggression in the first half and executed well and defended pretty well. We talked at halftime about defending a little bit better. Can’t say we defended better but maybe the same in the second half and as a result they were able to score, set up their pressure, and we didn’t get as many clean looks against their pressure as I hoped we would. But, I thought our late-game execution was really good and gave us a chance to win at the end.”