ELON, N.C. – Tyler Seibring made a clutch three-pointer to give Elon University men’s basketball a one-point lead with 49 seconds to play. However, UNCG’s Demetrius Troy drained a game-winning floater with 10 seconds remaining and Seibring’s last-second attempt from three hit front iron on as the Spartans escaped with a narrow 75-74 victory over the Phoenix on Friday night, Dec. 7, inside Schar Center.
Seibring led all scorers with a game-high 26 points and added a game-high tying eight rebounds for Elon (3-7). Steven Santa Ana was the second Phoenix to score in double figures scoring 15 points and matching Seibring’s rebound total with eight. In his first-career start, Chuck Hannah provided seven points and seven total rebounds, which included six offensive boards. Additionally, Nathan Priddy and Sheldon Eberhardt added nine points each. Eberhardt finished with a team-best six assists.
“I loved how hard our guys played and the heart that they played with,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “We’re continuing to improve as a team. This was a heartbreaking loss but I’m encouraged by our improvement and our competitive toughness.”
UNCG (8-2) was paced on the scoring end by Francis Alonso’s 20 points. Kyrin Galloway finished with 14 points and Troy added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Phoenix battled back from a eight-point halftime deficit of 43-35 to take a 74-73 lead with 49 seconds remaining after Seibring’s three-pointer, but Troy’s jumper with 10 seconds to play proved to be the winner as Seibring’s last-second three-point attempt hit the front of the rim.
After UNCG jumped out to a 16-6 advantage within the first nine minutes, the Phoenix battled back to cut the deficit to four points at 18-14 after Andy Pack’s triple at the 10:45 mark.
The Spartans took another 10-point lead once again at 29-19 at the 8:14 mark following a three-pointer from Galloway. Undaunted, the Phoenix stormed back with an 11-4 run to cut UNCG’s lead to 33-30 after Santa Ana’s triple off Chuck Hannah’s offensive board. UNCG ended the half outscoring the Phoenix 10-5 over the final three minutes of the period and took a 43-35 lead at the break.
Elon came out strong after halftime with a 7-0 run to start the second half. Seibring capped off the run with a layup at the 17:28 mark and UNCG’s lead was cut to 43-42. After UNCG held a 47-44 advantage, the Phoenix mounted an 11-0 surge, ending with a Seibring three at 11:21, and Elon took a 55-47 lead.
UNCG roared back forcing five turnovers over the next two and a half minutes. The Elon miscues led to a 10-0 run for UNCG and a 59-55 lead for the Spartans with 8:57 on clock. The Phoneix answered right back with five unanswered points from Seibring and Hannah to retake the lead 60-59. That began a series of five lead changes over the four minutes between the two teams.
Trailing by one after two Alonso free throws with 6:39 remaining, Elon response with a 7-2 spurt gave the Phoenix a 71-65 lead following Eberhardt’s layup with three minutes left in the contest.
A quick 8-0 run by the Spartans minute gave UNCG a 73-71 advantage following Galloway’s triple, but Seibring answered with a three of his own with 49 seconds on the clock to give the Phoenix a 74-73 lead.
On UNCG’s next possession, Santa Ana came up with a big block on Alonso’s three-pointer. Eberhardt dived for the rebound with 26 seconds left, but he was called for a traveling violation, which gave the ball back to the Spartans.
UNCG took advantage of the opportunity and Troy made what would be the game-winning bucket with 10 seconds to go. Seibring’s last attempt on a three hit the front iron and UNCG escaped with the 75-74 win.
– Tyler Seibring has scored in double figures in 33 of his last 36 games after tallying a season-high 26 against Furman. He has scored 1,419 career points and ranks 15th in program history.
– Santa Ana tallied double-digit scoring effort for the ninth time this season with 15 against the Spartans. He also grabbed a team-high tying eight rebounds.
– The Phoenix finished with a season-high 13 offensive rebounds. Chuck Hannah led the Phoenix in that department grabbing six in his first-career start.
– Elon only allowed UNCG to shoot 20% (2-10) in the second half from three after allowing the Spartans to shoot 46.7% (7-15) in the first period.
The Phoenix closes out its five game homestand on Sunday, Dec. 16, hosting Canisius at 2 p.m. inside Schar Center.