KENNESAW, Ga. – Tyler Seibring recorded his eighth-career double-double and Elon University men’s basketball’s held Kennesaw State to 39.4 percent shooting in the second half to earn a 76-67 victory on Tuesday night, Dec. 18, inside the KSU Convention Center.
Seibring tallied his first double-double of the season for Elon (4-8) with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Additionally, Steven Santa Ana tallied 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Kris Wooten finished with a season-high 10 points off the bench. Nathan Priddy recorded team-highs of five assists and two steals, while Chuck Hannah chipped in nine points for the Phoenix.
“We’re thrilled to get a chance to enjoy the reward for all of our guys’ hard work,” said head coach Matt Matheny. “Our assistant coaches did a great job and worked hard on the scout. Throughout our roster we had guys prepare with a laser-like focus, play with great energy, and play together. We had a lot of guys step up and make big plays. It’s fun to enjoy a victory in this process of us getting better.”
Kennesaw State (2-10) had three players finish in doubles figures, led by Tyler Hooker’s 18 points. Kosta Jankovic added 17 points and Danny Lewis tallied 12 for the Owls. Bryson Lockley finished with a game-high 14 rebounds. Additionally, Hooker added nine rebounds and six assists to his 18-point total.
Within the first eight minutes of action, the Phoenix took a 17-12 lead, which included five points each from Seibring, Hannah and Santa Ana. After Kennesaw State answered with five unanswered points, Kris Wooten’s back-to-back threes orchestrated a 7-2 run to put the Phoenix ahead 26-19 after Seibring’s triple at the 8:49 mark.
The Owls answered with a 9-2 spurt to tie the contest at 28-28 following Tyler Hooker’s layup, but Nathan Priddy three-point jumper at 5:24 gave the Phoenix the lead right back. Kennesaw State took just its second lead of the half 34-33 at 1:58 following Danny Lewis’ triple, but layups from Seibring and Wooten gave the Phoenix a 37-34 lead. Two last-second free throws in the half from the Owls would put Elon’s halftime lead at 37-36.
After both teams traded baskets to open the second half, Elon moved to an eight-point lead, 53-45, following Andy Pack’s three-pointer at the 14:27 mark. The Phoenix would take another eight point lead at 55-47, but the Owls answered with a with a 6-0 run over the next four minutes to slice Elon’s lead to 55-53.
The Phoenix then jumped out to a 69-60 lead, which included a 9-3 surge capped off by Seibring’s jumper on a set play to beat two seconds on the shot clock with 3:53 remaining. Kennesaw State sliced Elon’s lead to as little as six with a minute to play, but the Phoenix made key stops down the stretch and Seibring’s free throws clinched the victory.
– Tyler Seibring has scored in double figures in 35 of his last 38 games after tallying 24 against Kennesaw State. He has scored 1,467 career points and moves up to 12th in program history.
– Elon’s matchup against Kennesaw State was the 300th game of head coach Matt Matheny’s head coaching career.
– Kris Wooten finished with a season-high 10 points for the Phoenix in 24 minutes of action for the Phoenix.
– Santa Ana tallied double-digit scoring effort for the 11th time this season with 21 against the Owls.
– Elon improves to 3-0 all-time against Kennesaw State with the win.
The Phoenix closes out non-conference action with a trip to Kansas City to face UMKC on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. eastern time.