ELON, N.C. – Elon University men’s basketball returns to Schar Center on Thursday, Jan. 10, to host Colonial Athletic Association preseason favorite Northeastern at the beginning of the third week of conference play. The matchup between the Phoenix and the Huskies will tip-off at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES (PDF) | PREVIEW
You can watch the game live on Phoenix All-Access, or you can listen to the coverage on the Elon IMG Sports Network through TuneIn, elonphoenix.com/live, or 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 starting with the pregame show 6:30 p.m.
THURSDAY’S GAME IS…
• The 9th meeting all-time between the Elon Phoenix and the Delaware Blue Hens.
• The 2,712th game in Elon’s program history.
AN ELON WIN WOULD…
• Be the 1,407th win in program history and Elon’s 259th Division I win.
• Be the 146th win for Elon head men’s basketball coach Matt Matheny.
IT’S SPACE JAM NIGHT AT SCHAR CENTER!
• Thursday night’s promotion is Space Jam Night! The first 100 Elon University students will get a FREE “Elon Squad” t-shirt.
• Additionally, ALL Elon students will receive a FREE “Hoopy Hour” cup.
• 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game between Elon and Northeastern, the movie Space Jam will be played on the Schar Center video boards for all fans to watch!
• Thursday will be the 9th all-time meeting between Elon and Northeastern and the first time the two have met this season.
• In the last meeting, the Huskies spoiled Senior Day on Feb. 24, 2018 inside Elon’s old venue Alumni Gym with an 81-59 victory to take a 5-3 lead in the all-time series.
• Northeastern swept the 2017-18 season series last year, also earning the home victory, 72-60, on Jan. 5, 2018 inside Matthews Arena
• During the 2016-17 season, Elon and Northeastern split the season series with the road team winning each contest.
• Elon’s last win against the Huskies came on Jan. 26, 2017 in Boston when the Phoenix earned a 51-49 victory.
• Prior to the last two meetings, the previous three matchups between Elon and Northeastern had been decided by four points or less from January 2016 until February 2017.
• Northeastern (7-8, 1-2 CAA) has dropped two straight games heading into its matchup against the Phoenix. Prior to its last-second 75-72 loss to Hofstra on Saturday, Jan. 5, the Huskies dropped another close contest in league play with an 82-80 double-overtime loss to Delaware on Dec. 30, 2018. They opened conference play on Dec. 28, 2018 with a 93-83 victory over Drexel.
• The Huskies have three averaging double figures in scoring, led by Jordan Roland 15.5 points per contest. Vasa Pusica, who missed the first six games of the season due to injury, is posting a 15.3 scoring average and 4.7 assists per game in nine games this season. Donnell Gresham is the third Husky in double figures with 10.9 points per game. Two others are averaging just under 10 points a game in Anthony Green (9.5) and Bolden Brace (9.2). Green leads the team in rebounding averaging 5.2 per game.
• As a team, Northeastern ranks in the top-3 in the CAA for multiple statistical categories, which includes 1st in three-point field goal percentage (.393), 2nd in overall field goal percentage (.485), 2nd in three-pointers made (9.3), 3rd in assist/turnover ratio (1.2), tied for 2nd in defensive rebounding (30.9), and have the 3rd-highest free throw percentage (.733).
• Against a very challenging non-conference schedule, Northeastern finished with a 6-6 record. The Huskies picked up strong wins against Alabama, who was receiving votes at the time, St. Bonaventure, Bucknell, Harvard, Oakland and Eastern Michigan. The team’s losses came against No. 16 Virginia Tech, Syracuse (also receiving votes at the time), Vermont, Davidson twice, and Boston University.
• The Phoenix has a 5-12 record overall and is 1-3 in CAA action in 2018-19 following its 77-65 loss to Delaware on Saturday night.
• Elon has played nine times at home this season, including seven times in non-conference games.
• Elon has two players scoring in double figures. Steven Santa Ana is Elon’s leading scorer and rebounder at 16.4 points and 6.3 boards per game. Tyler Seibring is tallying 15.5 points after all 17 games played thus far.
• The Phoenix ranks first in the CAA in three-pointers made with (10.3) per game, which also ranks 17th in the nation. Elon’s 172 total three-pointers this season ranks 8th nationally.
• Santa Ana is currently 6th in the CAA in scoring (16.4), while Seibring ranks 12th (15.5) in the league.
• Sheldon Eberhardt leads the team with 58 total assists, which is an average of 3.9 per contest and ranks 6th in the CAA. He is also the team’s third-leading scorer with 9.3 points per game and has the second-highest free throw shooting percentage (.811) on the team, which ranks 7th in the league.
• Elon and gold returns 11 total players and three of its five starters from a year ago. One of its three returning starters, Dainan Swoope, is out for the season after having season-ending foot surgery.
• 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.
NEARING ELON HISTORY
• Senior forward Tyler Seibring is closing in on history that no player in program history at the NCAA Division I level has ever done.
• He is 48 points (Career Total: 1,531) and 65 rebounds (Career Total: 670) away from entering the top-10 in program history for each category.
• Seibring would be the first player in Elon’s NCAA Division I era (since 1999) to achieve that feat.
WOOTEN TABBED CAA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
• Wooten averaged 11.5 points while shooting 60 percent from the floor (9-15) and 55.6 percent from three-point range (5-9) as Elon split a pair of road games Nov. 18-22 during the final week of the Phoenix’s non-conference slate.
• He is Elon’s first player to earn a weekly accolade from the conference this season. He is also Elon’s first CAA Rookie of the Week selection since Tyler Seibring earned the honor for the third time his freshman campaign on Jan. 18, 2016.
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.
HOW 2018-19 BEGAN
• Elon’s 110th season of basketball opened with a marquee matchup as the Phoenix hosted the No. 8-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on ESPNU in the program’s first regular season basketball game inside Schar Center on Friday, Nov. 9.
• 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, UNCG and Canisius. The Phoenix then concluded non-conference action on the road at Kennesaw State and UMKC.
The Phoenix closes out its two-game home swing on Saturday night, Jan. 12, with a matchup against Hofstra at 7 p.m. inside Schar Center.