ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team came up with a key defense stop in the final moments to knock off first-place UNCW, 77-76, at Alumni Gym on Saturday, Feb. 11, in front of a sellout crowd.
Elon (16-11, 8-6 CAA) stopped UNCW’s Chris Flemmings on the game’s final possession with 4.3 seconds remaining, as Flemmings drove through the lane and had the ball knocked away and into the hands of Brian Dawkins as the final buzzer sounded.
With the win, Elon splits the regular season series with the Seahawks.
Ambrose Mosley gave the Seahawks major momentum with 2:21 remaining in the game, drilling a three to put the Phoenix down, 74-72. But Dainan Swoope came up clutch for the Phoenix on the ensuing possession, as Tyler Seibring found his classmate on the wing near the Elon student section for a contested three that gave the Phoenix a 75-74 lead – one it would not relinquish down the stretch.
Five players scored in double figures for Elon, as Dawkins led the way with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, including three makes from beyond the arc.
Seibring finished with 14 points, while Swoope pitched in 13 points in the winning effort. Dmitri Thompson and Luke Eddy each tallied 10 points for the Phoenix, which ended the game with a 47-percent clip shooting from the floor.
In the first half, Eddy pulled the Phoenix out to an early lead after burying a wide open three from the wing in front of the packed Elon student section to give his squad a 13-12 advantage with 12:28 to play.
The two teams jockeyed for position in the opening frame, but the Seahawks held the Phoenix without a field goal make over the final 3:20 of the half to take an eight-point lead, 46-38, into the locker room at intermission.
Elon had a better overall shooting performance in the first 20 minutes, shooting 47 percent from the floor, but the Phoenix struggled from three, going 4-of-16 (25 percent). UNCW sunk 8-of-15 from deep (53 percent) from three in the first half, as Jordon Talley poured in a game-high 17 points at the break.
Dawkins knotted the game at 59-all with 10:47 to play after drilling a three from the top of the key to put the Elon faithful on their feet. About sixty seconds later,
Eddy nailed a three in front of the Phoenix bench to give his team a one-point edge, 62-61.
Elon took a three-point advantage minutes later when Seibring connected on a three from the wing to give the Phoenix a 69-66 advantage with 6:47 remaining. But the Seahawks tied it back up at 69-apiece with a Talley three-ball from the wing with 5:41 to play.
The game saw four more lead changes from that point forward, until Swoope’s three-ball gave the Phoenix its final lead of the game down the stretch.
Elon returns to the hardwood on Thursday, Feb. 16, at Towson.
– Head coach Matt Matheny won his 124th game of his career, moving into third in program history. Today is his 47th birthday.
– Luke Eddy dished out four assists today, moving into 11th all-time. He has 279 assists and is 11 away from moving into the top-10.
– The Phoenix held UNCW to 38.2% from the floor in the second half. The Seahawks finished with a 41.6% shooting clip for the contest. UNCW came into the game averaging a league-best 48.9% from the floor per game.
– Elon also held UNCW to 10 points under it’s 86.2 ppg average this season.
– Brian Dawkins finished the a team-high 24 points. Elon has had five players score 20+ points in a game this season.