ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball couldn’t overcome Towson’s second half runs and dropped its Colonial Athletic Association opener 77-60 on Friday night, Dec. 28, inside Schar Center.
Elon (4-10, 0-1 CAA) had three players score in double figures and were led by Steven Santa Ana’s 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Additionally, Tyler Seibring tallied 12 points and five rebounds, while Chuck Hannah added 11 points for the Phoenix. Also, Nathan Priddy grabbed a career-best six rebounds for Elon.
Towson (5-8, 1-0 CAA), who’s now won three of its last four games, also had three players score in double figures. Brian Fobbs and Tobias Howard each finished with a team-best 21 points and Alex Thomas added 12 points for the Tigers. Fobbs also grabbed a team-best seven rebounds for Towson.
After the Phoenix held a 9-point lead with 16 minutes remaining, Towson’s multiple runs midway through the second half and 66.7 shooting from the floor helped the Tigers outscore the Phoenix 53-33 in the final 20 minutes. Towson was able to convert on 58.8 percent of its three-point attempts and scored 21 points off 12 Elon miscues during the contest. The Tigers also held the 38-25 advantage on the boards against the Phoenix.
After Towson scored the first six points of the contest, Elon mounted a 17-2 run, which was capped off by Priddy’s triple at the 10:16 mark to take a 17-8 lead. The Tigers then used a 6-1 spurt to slice the Phoenix’s lead to 18-14, but Eberhardt’s driving layup put Elon up 20-14 with 5:17 on the clock.
The Phoenix stretched its lead to as much as seven in the final five minutes, 24-17, with 3:01 on the clock, but Towson mounted a 7-0 run to level the score, 24-24, with a minute to go in the first. Kris Wooten drained a triple just 10 seconds later to give the Phoenix a 27-24 lead at the break.
In the second half, Hannah scored the first seven points for Elon, guiding the Phoenix to a 34-27 advantage after the first two minutes. Seibring’s triple with 15:57 remaining gave the Phoenix a nine-point lead 42-33, but a 13-0 run for the Tigers put Towson in front 46-42 at the 12:19 mark.
Four straight points by Santa Ana knotted up the score a 46-46, but Towson tallied eight unanswered to take a 54-46 lead with 7:34 remaining. In a game of runs, the Tigers then jumped out to its largest lead of the contest 67-50 with 4:21 remaining following a 13-4 spurt.
The Phoenix cut Towson’s lead to as little as 12 points, but Elon was unable to recover from the Tigers’ second half run, falling 77-60 in its league opener.
– Tyler Seibring has scored in double figures in 36 of his last 40 games after tallying 12 against Towson. He has scored 1,484 career points and moves up to 12th in program history.
– With his 21 points against the Tigers, Steven Santa Ana has now scored 20+ points in three-straight appearances and four times this season.
– Towson improves to 6-4 all-time against the Phoenix with the victory.
– With the loss to Towson, Elon drops its first conference opener at home since falling to Charleston on Dec. 31, 2016.
The Phoenix concludes its opening weekend of conference play on Sunday, Dec. 30, with a 4 p.m. contest against James Madison inside Schar Center.