BOSTON – The Elon University men’s basketball team made key defensive stops in the final minutes after making a late run to hold on for a 51-49 victory at Northeastern on Thursday, Jan. 26, inside Matthews Arena.
Trialing by one with 1:50 to play, Brian Dawkins made a huge block on Northeastern’s Devon Begley and Tyler Seibring converted a layup to put the Phoenix ahead, 48-47 with 1:26 on the clock.
Following a putback by Dmitri Thompson, Begley scored a layup to cut the Phoenix’s lead to one, 50-49, with seven seconds remaining. Following a Dainan Swoope free throw, Seibring denied T.J. Williams from scoring a potential game-tying bucket to secure the win.
Seibring scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Elon. Brian Dawkins was the other Phoenix in double-figures finishing with 12 points and eight boards. Thompson set a new career-high with 10 rebounds and added nine points. In addition, Dainan Swoope scored nine points for the Phoenix.
Elon held the Huskies to 32.8 percent shooting for the contest, including 29 percent in the second half. The Phoenix outrebounded Northeastern 40-25 in the game.
After a low scoring, tightly contested, first 20 minutes of action, the Phoenix held a 24-22 lead. Seibring led the way with eight first-half points.
The Phoenix pulled out to its largest lead of the game and the half, 19-14, with 5:34 remaining after a layup by Dawkins. The Huskies responded with a 6-0 run to take a 20-19 lead, but a three-pointer from Luke Eddy and a jumper from Seibring gave Elon a 24-20 lead. Shawn Occeus’ dunk would be the final basket of the half to make it a two-point game at the break.
The two-point lead would prove to be the difference as both teams finished with 27 points apiece in the second stanza. Elon locked down defensively and held the Huskies to 29 percent shooting in the second half.
Northeastern then climbed to a 40-36, with 10 minutes to go after back-to-back threes from Bolden Brace. But the Phoenix responded with a 7-2 run over the next 2:46 to retake the lead, 43-42, as 6:43 remained in the contest.
After the Huskies took a 47-43 lead after Murphy’s three-pointer with 3:02 to go, Elon went on an 8-2 run the rest of the way making big defensive stops to hold on to the victory.
The Phoenix closes out its northern road swing at Hofstra on Saturday, Jan. 28, for a 4 p.m. contest.
– It’s the first three-game conference winning streak since Feb. 2015. Elon has now won five of its last six games.
– The Phoenix improves to 7-1 this season when holding its opponents to under 40% shooting from the floor. Northeastern shot 32.8% against the Phoenix.
– Dmitri Thompson grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and he is the first Phoenix to grab 10 or more rebounds in a game this season.
– It’s the first time the Phoenix has held an opponent to 50 points or less since holding Furman to 49 points on Feb. 24, 2014.
– Head coach Matt Matheny won his 121st game tonight. He is now three wins away from moving into third all-time in program history.
– Elon is now 9-4 this season when leading at halftime and outrebounding its opponents.