ELON, N.C. – Brian Dawkins recorded his first career double-double and four Phoenix finished in double figures as Elon University men’s basketball started its final season inside Alumni Gym on Saturday night, Nov. 11, with a 96-53 victory in its home opener against William Peace.
Dawkins tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Pacers to earn his first career double-double. Dmitri Thompson scored a game-high 16 points and nearly recorded a double-double, finishing a rebound shy with nine on the night. Tyler Seibring score 15 points and Sheldon Eberhardt added 10 points and nine rebounds of his own.
“It was very good to get back on the court and get a win tonight,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “I liked the fact that our guys were locked in. We had a great film session this morning, it was a corrective film session, our guys were focused during the walk-through, and it all carried over. As a result, I thought we played with an edge tonight.”
The Phoenix (1-1) scorched the Pacers (0-1) shooting 51 percent from the floor, including 56 percent in the second half. Elon’s bench also contributed to the winning effort with 42 points on the night.
Camden Ferguson led William Peace in scoring with nine points. Samuel Arnold grabbed a team-high six rebounds and John Burwell dished out six assists.
The Phoenix jumped out to a 19-9 lead with 12:42 remaining in the half following a layup from Dawkins. William Peace cut Elon’s lead to eight, 22-14, with 8:18 left in the first half.
However, Elon extended its lead with a 13-6 run over the next three minutes, capped off by Eberhardt’s three-pointer to extend the lead 35-20 with 4:51 on the clock. The maroon and gold created a 19-point halftime cushion over the final three minutes, as the scoreboard showed a 44-25 Phoenix lead at the break.
Elon got off to a hot start over the first 2:38 of the second half, mounting an 11-3 run as Seibring’s layup gave the Phoenix a 55-28 lead. The Pacers made its largest run of the contest scoring 11 unanswered points over the next 1:11 to make Elon’s lead 55-39 with 14:37 remaining, forcing the Phoenix to call a timeout.
Undaunted, the Phoenix responded with a 19-5 run over the next 5:22 and outscored William Peace 41-14 overall over the final 13:38 to earn the 43-point victory.
– The Phoenix has now won 13 straight home openers inside Alumni Gym, including nine straight under head coach Matt Matheny. Elon remains undefeated in home openers under Matheny.
– The victory marked Elon’s first win by at least 40 points since defeating Central Penn by 44 points by a 117-73 margin on Dec. 14, 2014.
– Brian Dawkins recorded his first collegiate double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Pacers.
– Elon’s bench made played significant minutes and contributed with 42 points on the night.
– Dainan Swoope had his team-high eight game double-digit scoring streak ended against the Pacers.
– Jack George and Simon Wright each scored their first points of their collegiate careers against the Pacers. Wright scored eight and George finished with four.
The Phoenix hits the road on Tuesday night, Nov. 14, to face former Southern Conference rival Furman. Tipoff between the Phoenix and the Paladins will begin at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.