TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Dmitri Thompson recorded his second career double-double and was responsible for eight of Elon University men’s basketball’s last nine points as the Phoenix defeated Indiana State 73-68 on Friday night, Dec. 22, inside the Hulman Center to close out its non-conference slate.
With the Phoenix (8-5) up by five, 64-59, with 2:49 remaining in the game, Thompson was involved in eight of Elon’s last nine points over the final two-minute stretch, scoring six and assisting on two, to help close out the win. The Phoenix had four players finish in double figures, as Thompson highlighted the night with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Seibring recorded his fifth career double-double with 17 points and 10 boards.
Additionally for the Phoenix, Dainan Swoope added 17 points of his own and Steven Santa Ana chipped in 11 points. Sheldon Eberhardt scored four points, while also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists off the bench.
Elon led by as much as 17 points in the contest and fended off multiple Indiana State runs for the victory. The Phoenix limited the Sycamores to just 36.2 percent shooting from the floor and held the lead for nearly 37 minutes in the contest.
“For us to have the experience we had on Tuesday, and for our guys to come out and play like they did tonight, speaks a lot to our players’ character and just how bad they wanted it and how tough they are,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “They came out and played Elon basketball, they played the way we like to play, they fought for loose balls, and that to me was the story of the game. The bounce back from Tuesday to tonight was sensational.”
Indiana State (5-7) was led by Brenton Scott who finished with a game-high 20 points and six rebounds for the Sycamores. Jordan Barnes additionally finished in double-figures with 18 points, seven rebounds and a game-high six assists. Indiana State also got 14 additional points from the bench.
The Phoenix got off to a quick start as Seibring drained a three-pointer to give Elon an 8-4 lead at the 18:17 mark.
Following a triple from Barnes of Indiana State, Elon made three unanswered triples, including two from Swoope, to give the Phoenix a 10-point edge 17-7 with 14:40 on the clock, forcing Indiana State to call a timeout.
Indiana State sliced Elon’s advantage to 19-11 with 11:01 left in the half following a jumper from Scott, but the Phoenix responded with an 11-2 run to take its largest lead of the game, 30-13, at the 3:24 mark, limiting the Sycamores to just 1-of-13 from the field during the stretch.
The Sycamores made a 13-1 run over the next two and a half minutes to cut Elon’s lead to 31-26 with 1:08 left in the first half. Following the run, Swoope and Tyreke Key traded threes over the next minute, but the Phoenix would get three more in the final seconds as Swoope was fouled on a three-point attempt with a second remaining. The junior guard made all-three free throws to give Elon a 37-29 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Elon jumped out to a 12-point edge, 46-34, after Thompson drained a triple with 16:15 on the clock. The Sycamores answered with an 11-0 run to cut Elon’s lead to 46-45 at the 11:45 mark. After Swoope’s two free throws gave the Phoenix a 50-47 lead, Indiana State rattled off six unanswered to take a 53-50 lead with 7:43 on the clock, which included the team taking its first lead since the opening minute of the contest with a 51-50 advantage at the 8:03 mark.
Indiana State held the lead for the two minutes until Seibring’s triple regained the lead for the Phoenix 58-56 with 5:54 remaining. The junior forward would answer a Sycamores’ free throw with another three-pointer just over 50 seconds later to extend Elon’s advantage, 61-57.
Following two more free throws from the Sycamores, Seibring drained his fifth three-pointer of the night to start a 9-2 run and Thompson’s dunk capped off the spurt to put Elon ahead 70-61 with a minute to play.
Thompson would be responsible for eight of Elon’s final nine points, scoring six and assisting Eberhardt’s layup with 1:34 in the contest, as the Phoenix held on for a 73-68 victory.
– Dmitri Thompson and Tyler Seibring each recorded a double-double. Elon has now had two players finish with a double-double in the same game twice this season as Seibring and Brian Dawkins did so against FIU on Nov. 17.
– Seibring recorded his fifth career double-double and Thompson added the second of his career against the Sycamores.
– Elon earns its first-ever win against a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, improving its mark to 1-2 overall with the victory over Indiana State.
– With an 8-5 non-conference record, Elon has won eight or more non-conference games for four straight seasons.
– The Phoenix has now won its games right before Christmas in five of the last six seasons, with its only loss coming to #15 Duke on Dec. 28, 2015.
– Elon improves to 5-1 overall this season when four or more players score in double figures.
The Phoenix opens Colonial Athletic Association action inside Alumni Gym on Saturday, Dec. 30, hosting the Drexel Dragons at 2 p.m. It will be the first of the final nine regular season games remaining inside historic Alumni Gym.