ELON, N.C. – Despite Elon University men’s basketball’s late comeback after falling behind midway through the second half, the Phoenix couldn’t overcome the deficit and fell to Canisius 92-91 on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 16, inside Schar Center.
Steven Santa Ana paced Elon (3-8) with a game-high 25 points and seven rebounds. They were two of five players to finish in double figures. Nathan Priddy tallied 15 points, Sheldon Eberhardt scored 12 and Chuck Hannah finished with 10 points and a team-best three assists for the Phoenix.
Canisius (3-6) had five players finish in double figures on the scoring end. Takal Molson tallied a team-best 20 points and finished 10-of-14 from the free throw line. Jibreel Faulkner and Scott Hitchon each tallied 16 points, while Malik Johnson tallied 12 points and Jordan Henderson finished with 10 for the Golden Griffs.
The Phoenix soared to a 21-10 advantage right out of the gate. Santa Ana’s fast break triple gave Elon its largest lead of the half at 15:08 and forced Canisius to call a timeout. Another Santa Ana bomb from deep at the 9:15 mark gave Elon its last double-digit lead of the half, putting the maroon and gold up 29-19.
After the Phoenix held a 32-24 lead with 7:10 to go, Canisius made a 9-0 surge and held Elon to nearly a three-minute scoring drought to take its first lead of the contest 33-32 at the 4:58 mark.
Seibring’s second three-pointer of the contest gave the Phoenix the lead right back 35-33 just 27 seconds later. Elon then closed out the half outscoring the Golden Griffins 9-5 over the final minutes to take a 44-38 lead at the break.
In the second half, Elon jumped out to an 11-point advantage at 54-43 after Santa Ana hit his third triple of the day with 17:38 on the clock. Over the next 11 minutes, the Griffs answered with a 20-8 surge, which began with an 18-1 run over a 4:44 span. That run then extended to a 12-point Canisius lead at 74-62 with 6:21 remaining.
Elon battled back to cut Canisius’ lead to as little as six over the next three minutes after Seibring’s three-pointer at the 4:52 mark made the score 75-69. However, the Golden Griffins retook a 12-point advantage at 84-72 with 2:53 to play following Takal Molson’s layup.
The Phoenix continued to battle and mounted 16-4 run to slice Canisius’ lead to 90-88 with five seconds remaining after Nathan Priddy’s free throw. Molson made two important free throws for the Golden Griffs with four seconds left, putting the game out of reach after Priddy made a last-second three to clinch the 92-91 victory.
– Tyler Seibring has scored in double figures in 34 of his last 37 games after tallying 24 against Canisius. He has scored 1,443 career points and ranks 13th in program history.
– Santa Ana tallied double-digit scoring effort for the 10th time this season with a season-high 25 against the Golden Griffins. With his 1,087 career points, he now ranks 34th on the program’s all-time scoring list.
– The Phoenix finished shooting 52.6 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three.
The Phoenix closes out its non-conference schedule with two road tests at Kennesaw State and UMKC, respectively. Elon opens the road swing with a trip to visit the Owls in Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.