GREENVILLE, S.C. – Elon University men’s basketball couldn’t overcome a 17-2 second-half run by the Paladins as the Phoenix fell to Furman, 76-67, on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Timmons Arena.
The Phoenix had four players finish in double figures. Tyler Seibring scored a team-best 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Brian Dawkins chipped in 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Dainan Swoope added 13 points and Steven Santa Ana scored 10 for Elon. Dmitri Thompsonfinished with a team-high three assists and Seth Fuller came off the bench to add six points.
“We’re disappointed to lose the game,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “We played a very good team tonight and we did some good things, but we made a lot of mistakes. There were a lot of early-season mistakes that were made by both teams, and they made the plays down the stretch to extend the lead. We need to grow and improve from this experience and this disappointing loss, that’s the most important thing.”
Despite a strong defensive effort from the Phoenix, the Paladins used a 17-2 run over nearly five minutes of action midway through the second half to surge past Elon to a 65-54 lead with 5:45 remaining. Furman limited Elon to just five baskets over the final minutes to secure the victory.
Devin Sibley led Furman with 23 points and 6 rebounds. John Davis added 20 points and six rebounds, Andrew Brown scored 12 and Matt Rafferty chipped in 10 points to round out the Paladins’ four double-digit scorers.
The Paladins took its only lead of the half 11-8 into the first media timeout at the 15:53 mark. However, Elon would respond defensively, holding Furman to 1-of-9 shooting from the floor over the next 3:18 and used a 9-5 run to take a 19-16 lead with 11:11 remaining in the half.
The Phoenix put together another strong defensive stretch and limited Furman to 1-of-7 over the next segment to take a 25-19 lead at the under-eight media with 6:48 on the clock. Both teams locked in defensively in the first half with Elon shooting 41 percent and Furman only hitting 34 percent of its shots. The Phoenix would hold the 36-33 advantage at the break.
After Brian Dawkins began the second half making a baby hook shot in the lane, Furman mounted a 10-0 run over the next 2:51 to take a 43-38 lead at the first media timeout with 15:52 on the clock.
Elon used a 10-0 run the next 2:51 to regain a 52-48 advantage capped off by Karolis Kundrotas’ hook shot off an offensive rebound.
After a three-pointer by Andrew Brown ended the run, Furman scored four straight points off two Elon turnovers to retake the lead 55-52, which began a 17-2 run over a 4:45 time frame to extend the Paladins’ lead 65-54 with 5:45 left in the half.
Elon made a 5-0 run off baskets from Eberhardt and Seibring, as well as a free throw from Thompson, to cut into Furman’s lead 65-59. Furman answered with a 9-4 run over the next 2:39 to lead the Paladins to victory. Furman forced nine of Elon’s 16 turnovers in the second half to help with the run.
– The Phoenix limited Furman to 38 percent shooting from the floor and 31 percent from three in the loss.
– Furman earned its first victory over Elon since defeating the Phoenix 80-65 on Dec. 1, 2010. The Phoenix leads the all-time series 11-5.
– Tyler Seibring scored in double-figures for the fourth consecutive game dating back to last season, the longest active streak on the team.
– Elon’s bench outscored Furman’s bench 14-5. The Phoenix got scoring contributions from Seth Fuller (6), Sheldon Eberhardt (4) and Karolis Kundrotas (4) during the contest.
The Phoenix heads to Milwaukee, Wis., Nov. 17-19, to take part in the Black & Gold Shootout, hosted by the Milwaukee Panthers of the Horizon League. Elon opens the tournament on Friday against Florida International at 5:30 p.m. central time.