ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball earned its first-ever win inside Schar Center and set a new program record making 19 three-pointers in its 98-71 victory over Milligan on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Elon (2-1) had five players finish in double figures and was led by Tyler Seibring’s game-high 21 points. Sheldon Eberhardt tabbed his first-career double-double with 10 points and a career high-tying 10 assists. Karolis Kundrotas added 15 points and eight rebounds, Dainan Swoope tallied 12 points and Steven Santa Ana chipped in 13 points and eight boards.
The Phoenix shot 48.6 percent from the floor in the game, including 61.1 percent in the first half. Elon also shot a whopping 47.5 percent from deep and making a new program record 19 triples and a 61.9 percent clip in the opening half.
“We shot the ball really well to start the game,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “Coming into this game, we had respect for what Milligan has done and the talent they have on their team. I think we had an alertness to us in the game and we were incredibly efficient offensively, so that really helped us relax a little bit and just play. It was a great start for us offensively and we will evaluate the film and continue to try and get better.”
The Buffaloes (5-1) was paced by Aaron Levarity, who tallied team-bests of 20 points and nine rebounds. Tyler Faulkenberry also finished in double figures adding 16 points for Milligan. The contest counts as an exhibition for the NAIA program from Tennessee.
The Phoenix got off to a hot start in the first half making 13 three-pointers and taking a 60-33 lead at the break. Elon shot the ball 61.1 percent (22-36) from the field and went 61.9 percent (13-21) from deep in the half.
Elon started the game 5-of-8 from deep and took an early 21-8 lead following Seibring’s jumper at the 14:13 mark. The Phoenix then pushed its lead to 23 points as Seth Fuller’s triple at 8:40 in the first half gave Elon the 40-17 advantage.
Hot shooting kept the Phoenix rolling in the half and put the maroon and gold up by as much as 30 at 60-30 with 1:04 remaining after Seibring’s fifth triple. However, Milligan made the final bucket of the half and Elon had the 60-33 lead at the break.
Tyler Seibring’s 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor paced the Phoenix in the half, which included his 5-of-5 clip from three. Additionally, Santa Ana (11) and Karolis Kundrotas (10) scored in double figures in the opening half.
In the second half, the Phoenix started where they left off in the first half. Elon used 5-0 run, capped off by Eberhardt’s tip-in to take its largest lead of the game at 65-33 with 19:12 left on the clock.
Milligan battled to cut Elon’s lead to as little as 19 points after a made layup by Featherston with 7:46 remaining, but the Phoenix pulled away for the remainder of the contest to earn the 98-71 victory.
– Elon’s victory over Milligan was its first-ever win inside Schar Center.
– The Phoenix set a new program record with 19 three-pointers made against Milligan, breaking its previous record of 18 set on Dec. 15, 2015 against Alabama State in Alumni Gym.
– Nine different players for Elon made a three-pointer in the win over Milligan.
– Sheldon Eberhardt recorded his first-career double-double and tied his career-high with 10 assists for Elon.
– Eberhardt is only the second player in Elon’s NCAA Division I era to have multiple games (2) with 10+ assists. Only Chris Long ’11 had more with five games of 10+ assists.
– Tyler Seibring finished with 21 points for his 13th-career 20+-point game.
– Seibring now has 1,315 career points and moves up to 18th all-time. He is just five points behind Tanner Samson ’16 who is in 17th place.
– With his 21 points against Milligan, Seibring extends his double-digit scoring streak to 23 games.
– Steven Santa Ana scored 13 points against the Buffaloes and increased his career total to 952. He is now 48 points away from becoming the 43rd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
The Phoenix heads to Stockton, California next week, Nov. 22-24, to participate in the Tiger Thanksgiving Tournament, hosted by Pacific University. In addition to Elon and Pacific, Abilene Christian and UC Riverside will also be participating in the tournament. Elon opens the tournament on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, against Abilene Christian at 6 p.m. eastern time.