Elon MBB Drops Tiger Thanksgiving Classic Opener, 72-56

STOCKTON, Calif. – Elon University men’s basketball dropped its first game of the Tiger Thanksgiving Classic on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, with a 72-56 loss to Abilene Christian at the Alex G. Spanos Center.


Tyler Seibring paced Elon (2-2) on the scoring end with a game-high 17 points and added four rebounds. Additionally, Steven Santa Ana chipped in nine points and four boards, while Andy Pack tallied seven points off the bench. Sheldon Eberhardtfinished with a team-high five assists for Elon.

The Wildcats (4-0) had four players finish in double figures to stay unbeaten. Payten Ricks and Jaren Lewis led the way with 16 points and five rebounds apiece. Also for ACU, B.J. Maxwell added 15 points and Jalone Friday chipped in 13 for the Wildcats. Jaylen Franklin finished with a game-high seven assists.

The Wildcats came out strong and took a 15-5 lead, which extended to a 24-12 advantage after a three-pointer by B.J. Maxwell at the 8:43 mark. Elon answered with a 12-2 run to cut Abilene Christian’s lead to 26-24 at 4:21 after Seth Fuller’s triple.

Although Elon continued to trail over the next two and a half minutes, the Phoenix finally took its first lead at 32-31 with 56 seconds to go in the period after scoring four unanswered points on free throws. ACU would get the final possession of the half and Friday hit a three-pointer before the clock expired to give the Wildcats a 34-32 lead at the break.

Abilene Christian opened the second half with a 12-0 surge in the first four minutes to take a 42-36 lead. The Wildcats would extend the run to 22-4, taking a 56-36 advantage with 11:30 on the clock, which included a 2:13 scoring drought by the Phoenix at the end of the ACU run.

The Wildcats then got out to its largest lead of the game at the 7:01 mark when Ricks drained a three-pointer to make the score at 64-40. The Phoenix fought back cutting the ACU lead to 64-51 after Andy Pack’s at 3:31, but Abilene Christian fended off the potential comeback for the 72-56 victory.

– Tyler Seibring now has 1,332 career points and moves up to 17th all-time. He is 49 points behind Thomas Moore ’76 who is in 16th.
– With his 17 points against Abilene Christian, Seibring extends his double-digit scoring streak to 24 games.

The Phoenix faces UC Riverside in its second game of the Tiger Thanksgiving Classic tomorrow night at 11 p.m. eastern time. You can follow the game by listening to the Elon IMG Sports Network broadcast on Phoenix All-Access or TuneIn.