ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball put together a strong defensive first half, but could not overcome Hofstra’s second half surge falling to the Pride 67-48 on Thursday night, Feb. 8, inside Alumni Gym.
“Tonight was a tale of two halves,” said head coach Matt Mathney. “I thought we really defended well in the first half and had a great bounce in our step. We were a little out of rhythm offensively in the first half but competed and had a good lead. I thought we competed in the second half, but we missed some shots that could have made things easier on us and then they got hot and that’s how the game got away from us.”
Elon (14-12, 6-7 CAA) was paced by Tyler Seibring, who finished with a team-best 16 points and eight rebounds. Additionally, Steven Santa Ana chipped in nine points and four rebounds, while Dmitri Thompson added eight points and six boards. Dainan Swoope dished out a team-high four assists for the Phoenix.
Hofstra (15-10, 8-5 CAA) was led on the scoring end by Eli Pemberton and Justin Wright-Foreman. Pemberton scored 27 points on 10-of-16 from the floor and Wright-Foreman added 21 for the Pride. Rokas Gustys grabbed a game-high 20 rebounds for Hofstra.
The Phoenix opened the contest with a 9-4 lead. After trailing 4-2 at the first media timeout, Thompson hit a three and Jack Anton made back-to-back layups to put Elon ahead by five at the 12:18 mark.
Hofstra used a 7-4 spurt to cut Elon’s lead to 13-11 at the 8:25 mark after Ray’s free throw. However, Simon Wright scored five unanswered points and his three-pointer at 7:26 put the Phoenix in front 18-11. The Pride used an 8-2 run to trim Elon’s lead to 20-19 following Pemberton’s free throw.
Swoope knocked down two free throws and Eberhardt make a reverse layup to give Elon a 24-19 lead with 4:07 on the clock. Hofstra answered with a 5-2 run, but Santa Ana’s layup, leaving 3.2 seconds on the clock, gave the Phoenix a 28-24 lead at the break.
After Seibring hit a three-pointer to give the Phoenix a 31-24 lead, the Pride cut Elon’s lead to 31-30 with a 6-0 run. Seibring hit a jumper on the next possession, but Hofstra answered with a 13-2 run over the next 3:48 to take a 43-35 advantage, forcing the Phoenix to call a timeout. Elon used a 5-2 spurt capped off by Santa Ana’s layup to slice the deficit to 45-40 with 11:35 on the clock.
Hofstra then answered with a 22-8 surge over the final 10:41 of the contest to solidify the 67-48 win. The Pride began the run with an 18-4 burst to take a 63-44 lead at the 3:38 mark following two free throws from Gustys. After Thompson’s free throw, Hofstra got out to its largest lead of the contest 65-45, before Santa Ana hit a three pointer with 3:01 on the clock.
The Phoenix missed some good looks to get back into the game over the final three minutes and Hofstra held on for the 67-48 win.
– Tyler Seibring extended his double-digit scoring streak to 22 consecutive games with 16 points against the Pride.
– Hofstra improves its lead in the all-time series 6-3 in the all-time series.
– The Phoenix put together a strong first half, only allowing Hofstra to shoot 30 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three.
– Offensively, Elon was limited to just 29.2 percent shooting in the second half and Hofstra held the Phoenix to just 21 percent from three in the contest.
The Phoenix returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 15 on the road at UNCW. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m.