BUFFALO – Elon University men’s basketball fell to the Canisius Golden Griffins 67-51 on Tuesday night, Dec. 19, inside Koessler Athletic Center.
“We played a very good Canisius team and although we did some very good things defensively to make things difficult for their offense, we struggled offensively,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “We struggled to get good looks that we can knock down and then we turned it over, which led to run-outs for them. So, it was not a good night for us.”
The Phoenix (7-5) was led by Brian Dawkins as he finished with team-highs of 13 points and seven rebounds. Dmitri Thompson added nine points and five rebounds, while Steven Santa Ana added seven points and six rebounds.
Three different players finished in double figures for a balance Canisius (5-7) attack as Jermaine Crumpton led the way with a game-high 16 points. Malik Johnson finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Takal Molson added 11 points for the Golden Griffins.
Canisius limited the Phoenix to just 37 percent shooting from the floor and 30.8 percent from three. The Golden Griffins took advantage of Elon’s turnovers scoring 19 points off 14 maroon and gold giveaways.
Following a quick 5-0 Golden Griffin run to open the contest, the Phoenix answered with a three from Tyler Seibring and a layup from Santa Ana to tie the game at 5-5 with 17:49 on the clock. Then, the Griffs responded with a 10-0 run over the next 1:34 to take a 15-5 lead. Elon did get within four points, 19-15, after a 10-4 run was capped off by Dainan Swoope’s three-pointer with 9:29 remaining in the half.
Canisius would begin to extend its lead slowly throughout the remainder of the half. After Elon cut the lead to 27-21 with 5:05 on the clock, there were no points scored by either team for almost three minutes. Finally, the Golden Griffins mounted a 9-2 run over the next 2:05 to take its largest lead 36-23.
The Griffs held the Phoenix scoreless for a 4:09 span up until Dawkins made a layup to cut Canisius’ lead to 34-23 with 54 seconds left in the first half. Following a fast break layup by Canisius, Dawkins made a three to slim the Golden Griffins’ lead to 36-26 at halftime.
Elon’s first basket of the second half trimmed Canisius’ lead to singles digits, 38-29, after Thompson drained a three with 19:09 on the clock. Steven Santa Ana’s layup with 18:23 remaining once again narrowed the host’s lead to single digits, 40-31, but a 10-2 run gave the Golden Griffins a 50-33 advantage with 13:52 remaining.
The Phoenix responded with four unanswered, narrowing the lead to 50-37. However, the Golden Griffins would make a 12-3 run over the next seven minutes to build to its largest lead of the contest, 62-40, with 5:32 remaining. Canisius would hold its large lead down the stretch to claim the 67-51 victory.
– Elon falls to 0-3 all time against Canisius and 0-2 at the Koessler Athletic Center with the loss.
– Brian Dawkins finished in double figures for the eighth time this season with 13 points against the Golden Griffins.
– Elon was held to just one player finishing in double figures. The Phoenix has now been held to less than three double-digit scorers three times this season.
The Phoenix concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule on Friday, Dec. 22, with a road trip to face Indiana State at 6 p.m.