PHILADELPHIA – Elon University men’s basketball couldn’t overcome Drexel’s second-half offensive surge in its 79-65 loss on Thursday night, Jan. 3, at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Elon (5-11, 1-2 CAA) had three players finish in double figures and were led by Nathan Priddy’s 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Additionally, Steven Santa Ana scored 13 points to extend his double-digit scoring streak to 11 games, while Sheldon Eberhardt added 12 points off the bench.
Troy Harper led Drexel (7-9, 1-2 CAA) with a game-high 21 points for the Dragons. Alihan Demir was also a highlight for Drexel with 19 points and eight rebounds. Also among the Dragons’ four double-digit scorers were Trevor John who tallied 12 points and James Butler who added 10 for the Dragons.
After Elon held a 35-34 lead at the half and had as much as a nine-point advantage in the opening 20 minutes, Drexel used a hot offensive outburst, which included 59.3 percent shooting to take as much as a 20-point lead to clinch the win. The Phoenix cut the deficit to as little as 10 with just under three minutes remaining, but the Dragons held on for the win.
The Phoenix jumped out to the early 14-7 lead just five minutes into the contest. After three points for the Dragons, Elon used a 7-0 spurt to take a 21-10 advantage following Eberhardt’s triple at the 9:49 mark.
Drexel fired back with a 9-0 surge over the next two minutes to trim Elon’s lead to seven, but the Phoenix answered with six straight with threes from Priddy and Hannah to take a 27-19 advantage.
After Priddy made two free throws to give the Phoenix a 32-25 lead with 3:51 remaining in the half, the Dragons closed out the half with a 9-3 run to slice Elon’s lead to 35-34 at the break.
In the second half, Drexel came out flying in the first two minutes with nine straight points to take a 43-35 lead. Although Priddy made two layups to cut Drexel’s lead to six, the Dragons used a 10-3 run to take a 55-42 lead with 12:17 remaining.
Elon wouldn’t get any closer than 12 points in the next five minutes and Drexel extended its lead to as many as 20 points, 70-50, with 7:12 on the clock after two free throws by Harper.
The Phoenix attempted a comeback cutting Drexel’s lead to as little as 10 at the 2:34 mark after Eberhardt’s driving layup, but the Dragons would hold on for the 79-65 victory.
Elon closes out its first CAA road swing on Saturday, Jan. 5, against the Delaware Blue Hens at 7 p.m. inside the Bob Carpenter Center.