ELON, N.C. – After taking an eight-day break for final exams, Elon University men’s basketball concludes its five-game home stretch inside Schar Center on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 16, when the Phoenix welcomes Canisius to campus for the first time. Elon’s last home non-conference matchup of the season will tip-off against the Golden Griffins at 2 p.m.
You can watch the game live on Phoenix All-Access at elonphoenix.com/live, or you can follow the action on CAA.tv and the CAA.tv app. The Phoenix All-Access and Elon IMG Sports Network coverage will be provided by Taylor Durham and Brian Morris. The Elon IMG Sports Network audio broadcast pregame show will begin at 1:30 p.m.
SUNDAY’S GAME IS…
• The 4th meeting all-time between the Elon Phoenix and the Canisius College Golden Griffins.
• The 2,708th game in Elon’s program history.
• The second straight time that the two teams have faced off in consecutive seasons. Elon and Canisius faced off during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons for the first and second meetings.
AN ELON WIN WOULD…
• Be the 1,405th win in program history and Elon’s 258th Division I win.
• Be the 144th win for Elon head men’s basketball coach Matt Matheny.
• Elon’s first-ever win against Canisius.
• Snap Elon’s current three-game losing streak
• Sunday will be the fourth all-time meeting between Elon and Canisius and the first at Elon.
• This is the second straight season the two teams have matched up. Canisius holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series.
• Last season, the Golden Griffs took a 67-51 victory over the Phoenix on Dec. 19, 2017 inside the Koessler Athletic Center.
• Both teams met for the first time at the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Phoenix fell to the Golden Griffins 69-53 on March 20, 2013.
• In the second meeting, Canisius came out victorious again with a narrow 86-85 victory in the NIT Preseason Tipoff on Nov. 19, 2013 at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
• Third-year Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon will face Elon for the third time in his coaching career on Sunday. This will be his second visit to the campus of Elon University. As the head coach at Buffalo, Witherspoon earned an overtime win by a score of 70-63 on Dec. 7, 2004 inside Alumni Gym.
• The Golden Griffins moved to 2-6 on the year with their 68-62 win over Robert Morris Dec. 5. In that game, Canisius shot a season-high 48.9 percent from the field.
• Canisius earned its first victory of the season on the road at Bucknell by a 82-73 margin on Nov. 13. The Golden Griffins have dropped contests against Albany, Florida State, Villanova, Memphis, UAB and St. Bonaventure.
• The month of December has been good to the Griffs in recent history. The Blue and Gold are 31-12 in games played in the month of December since 2012-13.
• Takal Molson leads the Griffs and ranks second in the MAAC in scoring average with his 16.4 points per game. He has scored in double-figures in all eight games this season and in 11-straight contests, dating back to last year.
• Isaiah Reese, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, enters Sunday’s game ranked third in the league with his 6.5 rebounds per contest.
• Malik Johnson, who is tied for fifth in the MAAC with 1.8 steals per game this season, needs three more steals to become the 19th player in program history to have 100-plus career steals to his credit.
• Scott Hitchon matched a career-high with 13 points in the win over Robert Morris Dec. 5, where he played a career-high 30 minutes. Hitchon also had 13 points in a game earlier this season when the Blue and Gold fell to UAB in the final game of the 2018 AdvoCare Invitational in Florida.
• The Phoenix has started its 2018-19 campaign with a 3-7 record, including a 2-4 mark in its first season inside the brand new Schar Center.
• Elon has three players scoring in double figures. Tyler Seibring is Elon’s leading scorer and rebounder at 15.2 points.
• Steven Santa Ana is second at 14.9 points and leads the team averaging 6.8 boards per game. Sheldon Eberhardt is tallying 10.1 points per contest.
• The Phoenix is currently making 10.6 three pointers per game this season, which ranks 12th at the NCAA Division I ranks.
• Elon and gold returns 11 total players and three of its five starters from a year ago.
• The Phoenix returns four of its top six scorers, including its 2017-18 leading scorer and rebounder in Seibring (15.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg).
• The program’s senior class is made up of five players (Seibring, Swoope, Santa Ana, Eberhardt and Karolis Kundrotas). Heading into the season, the five players had combined to play in a total of 437 games and make 209 starts.
• Elon made four new additions to the squad for 2018-19 in first-year players Chuck Hannah, Andy Pack, Federico Poser and Kris Wooten.
• The Phoenix has been predicted to finish eighth in the league as the CAA released its preseason men’s basketball poll on Oct. 17, during the conference’s digital media day. Tyler Seibring collected preseason All-CAA honors as he was named to the second team.
SEIBRING NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
• Tyler Seibring has been named one of the 30 NCAA Division men’s basketball candidates for the 2018-18 Senior CLASS Award®
• The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
• Seibring carries a 3.91 grade-point average as a double major in English and Economics.
• The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four® this spring.
JOINING THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
• Senior guard Steven Santa Ana became the 43rd player in program history to reach 1,000-career points against Central Penn on Nov. 27.
• Elon currently has three 1,000-point scorers on the team in Tyler Seibring, Dainan Swoope and Steven Santa Ana. Swoope and Seibring each joined the 1,000-point club as juniors.
• Seibring was the first to join, becoming the 40th player overall and the 11th junior to reach the mark. Dainan Swoope became the 42nd player overall, the 12th junior.
• The Phoenix have twice set a program record with 19 three-pointers made in a game this season.
• Elon set the record of 19 triples in its 98-71 victory over Milligan College on Nov. 15, 2018, the program’s first-ever win in Schar Center.
• The team then matched the mark on Nov. 27, 2018 inside Schar Center during its 92-59 win over Central Penn.
• Elon University men’s basketball will play its games inside its new facility, Schar Center, this season after calling Alumni Gym its home since since 1950.
• Schar Center officially opened its doors in July of 2018 and was dedicated on October, 19, 2018. The 161,000-square-foot convocation center has a current capacity of 5,100-seats.
• Not only does it serve as the home for Phoenix basketball and volleyball programs, but it also serves as an event venue that will provide a large gathering space for a wide variety of major campus events such as convocations and concerts.
• The facility is named for Dwight and Martha Schar, of Palm Beach, Fla., parents of Stuart Schar ’16 and Spencer Schar ’19.
• Among Elon’s most generous donors for the project, the Schars have contributed $13 million to the university to provide lead funding for the convocation center and the expanded School of Communications facilities, which features Dwight C. Schar Hall as the centerpiece.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2018-19
• Elon’s 110th season of basketball opened with a marquee matchup as the Elon Phoenix hosted the No. 8-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in the program’s first regular season basketball game inside Schar Center. The game is set for Friday, Nov. 9, on ESPNU.
• Prior to that contest, the Phoenix opened the 2018-19 season on Nov. 6 on the road at Manhattan. Elon then competed in the Tiger Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 22-24, at Pacific University on Thanksgiving week.
• During its non-conference slate, the Phoenix scheduled a total of seven home contests, which have included North Carolina, Boston University, No. 25 Furman and UNCG thus far. Canisius is Elon’s final home game of the non-conference slate.
• Elon opens CAA play with a pair of home contests against Towson (Dec. 28) and James Madison (Dec. 30).
The Phoenix closes out non-conference action with two straight road contests, beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Kennesaw State. The matchup between the Phoenix and the Owls will tip-off at 7 p.m.