ELON, N.C. – The Elon University men’s basketball team closed the regular season with an 81-59 victory over the visiting Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday night, Feb. 25, in front of a sellout crowd at Alumni Gym.
The 22-point margin of victory is Elon’s largest on Senior Night during the school’s Division I era, as tonight marked the final home contest for Luke Eddy, Christian Hairston, Ryder Bowline and Patrick Ryan.
“I thought there was tremendous energy in the building tonight and it really was a wonderful Senior Night,” said Elon head coach Matt Matheny. “Our seniors really set the tone for how we played the entire night. I thought we played with aggression for all 40 minutes tonight and being able to take care of the basketball at a fast and aggessive pace is something that we really work on. We were much better at it today than we were Thursday night.”
Dmitri Thompson was one off his career high with a game best 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor and 7-of-8 at the free throw line. Dainan Swoope added 14 points and Steven Santa Ana pitched in 10 for the Phoenix.
Elon shot 45 percent from the floor in the victory, going 10-of-29 (34 percent) from beyond the arc. Elon has hit 10 or more threes in a game 16 times this season after today’s win.
After falling behind early, the Phoenix stormed back to take the lead late in the first half, as a Seibring triple gave Elon a 28-21 lead, forcing the Blue Hens to call a 30-second timeout.
Elon led by as many as 13 points in the opening session, taking a 40-29 advantage into the locker room at intermission. The maroon and gold shot 44 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes, including 7-of-16 (44 percent).
It was more of the same for the Phoenix in the second session, as Elon kept Delaware at arm’s length for the majority of the game’s final 20 minutes to secure the win heading into next weekend’s conference tournament.
Tonight’s sellout crowd of 1,714 marks the 19th sellout for the Phoenix during Matheny’s tenure as head coach.
Elon now turns its focus to the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship next weekend at North Charleston Coliseum. The fifth-seeded Phoenix opens play on Saturday, March 4, at 2:30 p.m. against fourth-seeded William & Mary.