ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball team revives a Triad and old Southern Conference rivalry at UNCG on Thursday night, Dec. 7, inside Greensboro Coliseum at 7 p.m. The Phoenix has won five of its last six contests and carries a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s night’s tilt against the Spartans.
Watch the action on ESPN3 and on the WatchESPN app. Listen to the Elon IMG Sports Network broadcast on WSJS 104.5 FM and 1200 AM, or on elonphoenix.com. Taylor Durham and Brian Morris will call the action on the radio broadcast with the pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m.
• Thursday will be the 40th all-time meeting between Elon and UNCG and the 18th in Greensboro.
• Head coach Matt Matheny has a 12-1 record against the Spartans, which includes 12-straight victories.
• This will be the third time since Elon left the SoCon that the two foes will face each other. UNCG is the second SoCon team Elon has faced this season as the Phoenix faced Furman on Nov. 14.
• In the last meeting, Elon defeated the UNCG Spartans, 79-69, on Dec. 19, 2015 inside Alumni Gym. Elon’s last loss to UNCG was on Jan. 28, 2010 in Greensboro as the Spartans claimed a 62-55 win.
LAST TIME OUT
• Elon pulled off another thrilling victory on Saturday night, Dec. 2, as the Phoenix defeated Saint Peter’s in double overtime, 71-65, inside Alumni Gym.
• Tyler Seibring scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Phoenix. Dmitri Thompson was a force on the boards, leading the team with 10 rebounds. Sheldon Eberhardt dished out a career-high 10 assists.
• Elon limited Saint Peter’s to 32 percent shooting from the floor and just 20 percent from three-point range.
SWOOPE THERE IT IS
• Dainan Swoope is Elon’s leading scorer through nine games averaging 17.1 ppg and has scored in double figures eight times thus far.
• He had 20+ points in four straight games from Nov. 17-22 and averaged 23.8 ppg during that span.
• Most recently, his last 20+ point game came in a 77-74 win over Radford on Nov. 22, when he scored 24.
• During the Black & Gold Shootout, Swoope matched a career-high with 26 points in Elon’s triple overtime win against FIU on Nov. 17, followed with a 25-point performance against Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 18 and rounded out the tournament with 20 points against Milwaukee.
• Swoope is currently ninth in the CAA in scoring averaging 17.1 ppg through nine games this season.
• The junior point guard is also seventh in the CAA in assists averaging 3.4 dimes per game this season. He also leads the league with 28 made three-pointers this season.
PROVIDING A SPARK
• Sheldon Eberhardt has made an impact off the bench this season for the Phoenix.
• He posted a career-high 10 assists in Elon’s victory over Saint Peter’s, which was the first time an Elon player had 10 or more assists in a game since Chris Long had 10 on Feb. 19, 2011 against UNCG.
• Eberhardt is currently averaging 6.8 points and a team-high 3.7 assists per contest. He also has the highest shooting percentage on the team at 51 percent.
CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
• Three Phoenix are less than 200 points away from reaching 1,000 career points. Elon currently has 39 players in program history that have reached the 1,000-point mark.
• Dmitri Thompson is the closest with 896 career points and is just 104 points away. Tyler Seibring is right behind with 880 career points and is within 120 points. Dainan Swoope as 819 career points, just 181 away.
IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE
• Four of five Elon starters are averaging doubles figures in this early part of the season. Swoope leads the way with 17.1 ppg, while Brian Dawkins is second averaging 13.4 ppg.
• Rounding out the top scorers are Tyler Seibring, who is averaging 11.9 ppg, and Dmitri Thompson is recording 10.6 ppg.
• Steven Santa Ana is right there with 8.9 ppg this season.
• Elon has had six different players finish in double figures this season, including thre who have done so at lead seven times.
• The Phoenix has had at least three players finish in double-figures in eight games this season. The only time this season Elon had less in a game was two against Radford (11/22).
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT NOV. 30…
• The Phoenix defeated USF by a score of 79-78 in overtime on Thursday, Nov. 30, inside Alumni Gym.
• For three straight seasons since 2015, Elon has now played an overtime game inside Alumni Gym and won on Nov. 30 for three straight years.
• Elon came back from an eight-point deficit with 18 seconds to play to force overtime and defeat Kennesaw State 103-93 on Nov. 30, 2015.
• Last season, Elon defeated FIU 84-81 in an overtime thriller on Nov. 30, 2016.
WHAT A THRILLER
• Elon erased a 13-point deficit to defeat Florida International in triple overtime on Friday, Nov. 17, to open the Black & Gold Shootout.
• It was only the second triple overtime game Elon has played since becoming a Division I program in 1999-2000.
• The Phoenix improves to 2-0 in triple overtime games since becoming a Division I program. Elon defeated UNCG 112-108 in the team’s last 3OT game on Feb. 28, 2004.
A LOOK AT ELON
• The Phoenix is off to a 6-3 mark and is currently on a three-game winning streak after wins over Saint Peter’s (12/2), Radford (11/22) and South Florida (11/30).
• Elon is currently third in the CAA averaging 78.7 points per contest and averaging 10.9 made three pointers a game.
• Defensively, the Phoenix has been stout, only allowing teams to shoot 41.1% from the floor, which ranks third in the CAA. Elon is also first in the league in defensive rebounds, averaging 32.0 per game.
• Elon returns all five starters and its top five scorers from a team that finished 18-14 overall and placed tied for fourth in the CAA with a 10-8 mark in 2016-17.
• Four of the five starters averaged double-figure scoring last season, led by 2016-17 All-CAA Second Team forward Tyler Seibring, who averaged a team-high 14.4 ppg.
• Brian Dawkins finished second on the team in scoring at 12.9 ppg, while Steven Santa Ana and Dainan Swoope each scored 11.7 ppg. Dmitri Thompson posted 8.9 ppg as a junior last season.
• Dawkins, Thompson, Jack Anton, Jack George and Collin Luther make up this year’s senior class.
• Elon also made three additions this past offseason, bringing in freshman guard Nathan Priddy and forwards Simon Wright and Duje Radja into the fold.
ELON IN THE MID-MAJOR POLL
• Elon is currently receiving five votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll from Dec. 4. The Phoenix dropped out of last week’s poll after being among the others receiving 29 votes on Nov. 20.
• The Phoenix was ranked No. 23 in the first CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll of the regular season on Nov. 13, Elon’s fifth overall appearance since the poll started.
• CollegeInsider.com released its Preseason Mid-Major Top-25 Poll on Oct. 30, and Elon University men’s basketball earned a spot at No. 22 in the rankings.
• Elon’s ranking the the 2017-18 CollegeInsider.com Preseason Mid-Major Top-25 poll was its highest ranking in the poll as a Division I program.
• The Phoenix was ranked No. 23 for two straight weeks last season. The first time Elon earned a ranking was No. 25 for one week on Feb. 4, 2013.
• The Spartans enter Thursday’s game with a 5-3 overall record after defeating Liberty 76-75 in triple overtime on Saturday afternoon.
• UNCG had previously been 0-3 on the road before defeating the Flames. The Spartans are a perfect 4-0 at home this season.
• The Spartans are averaging 74.8 points per game on offense and holding opponents to 60.9 points per game. UNCG is out-rebounding opponents by a +7.4 margin this year, while they are shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three.
• Opponents are shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from deep.
• Francis Alonso was named SoCon Player of the Week on Monday after averaged a team-high 26 points per game last week, including a career-high 36 points to lead the Spartans to a thrilling come-from-behind triple overtime victory on the road at Liberty.
• UNCG enters Thursday’s game as one of the top defensive teams in the country in the early part of the season. The Spartans rank 13th in NCAA Division I allowing just 60.9 points per game
The Phoenix continues its four-game road swing on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. as Elon takes on the Terriers of Boston University inside Case Gym.