ELON, N.C. – Tyler Seibring had a chance to force overtime in the final three seconds for Elon University men’s basketball, but his three-pointer hit the front of the rim and league-leading Hofstra escaped with a 74-71 win on Saturday night, Jan. 12, at Schar Center.
The Phoenix battled back from an early deficit to take an eight-point lead at halftime. After Elon took a 10-point advantage in the opening minutes of the second half, Hofstra battled back and led by as many as eight points with 5:30 remaining.
Undaunted, the Phoenix narrowed the deficit as little as one with 12 seconds to go, but the Pride made two free throws on the next possession to take a three-point lead with nine seconds remaining. Seibring’s final three-point attempt to tie the game hit off the front of the rim and Hofstra pulled out the win.
Seibring paced Elon (5-14, 1-5 CAA) with 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting and six rebounds. He also drained 4-of-8 of his shot attempts from three-point range. Additionally, Sheldon Eberhardt scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Steven Santa Ana flirted with a double-double chipping in 10 points and nine boards. Federico Poser had a solid game off the bench, contributing with nine points, a team-high tying four assists and three rebounds.
Hofstra (15-3, 5-0 CAA) had three players score in double figures. Justin Wright-Foreman led the way with 21 points, while Eli Pemberton added 15 points and Jacquil Taylor chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds.
Hofstra began the contest with a 7-0 run, but an 8-2 spurt by the Phoenix sliced the Pride’s lead to one after Seibring’s three-pointer at the 15:37 mark. Although Hofstra’s response put the Pride up 16-11, baskets from Simon Wright and Eberhardt tied the game up, 16-16, with 9:59 left in the half.
Both teams would continue to trade baskets as Hofstra took the lead twice and the score leveled two times during that stretch. Elon then took its first lead of the game at 25-23 with 5:36 on the clock after Seibring’s jumper, but Jacquil Taylor leveled the score once again just seconds later with his jumper.
The Phoenix would outscore the Pride 12-4 over the final five minutes of the half to take a 37-29 lead at the break. Elon limited Hofstra to just 30.8% from three-point range and outrebounded the Pride 20-9 in the half.
At the start of the second half, Seibring hit a jumper with 18:55 on the clock to give the Phoenix a 10-point lead at 39-29. However, the Pride answered with a 9-3 run over the next three minutes to cut Elon’s lead to three. Santa Ana’s three-pointer at the 15:44 mark put Elon back up by six at 44-38, but the Pride put another dent into the Phoenix’s lead and the scoreboard showed 44-43 with 14:19 remaining.
After the Phoenix created a five-point cushion, 50-45, with 12:46 on the clock, Hofstra used a 17-3 run over the next four minutes to take its largest lead of the contest, 61-53, which was capped off by Pemberton’s layup. The Pride then led by as much as eight one more time, 65-57, at the 5:30 mark before the Phoenix began its comeback.
Elon then began chipped away into the deficit with a 7-0 run and Seibring’s three made it a 65-64 game with 3:38 remaining. Although Hofstra would push its lead back out to as much as four on several occasions over the next three minutes, the Phoenix fought back once again and trailed by one, 72-71, with 12 seconds on the clock.
Wright-Foreman drew a foul on the next possession and his two free throws gave Hofstra a 74-71 lead with 9.9 seconds remaining. Seibring’s attempt to tie the game hit off the front of the iron and Hofstra escaped with the 74-71 win.
– Tyler Seibring moved into 11th on the all-time scoring list with 1,576 points and is four points away from moving past Chris Kiger ’98 (1,579) into 10th all-time.
– Santa Ana extends his double-digit scoring streak to 14 straight games with 10 points against Hofstra.
– Seibring increased his career rebound total to 686, which is 49 away from the top-10 in program history.
– With his 25 points against Hofstra, Seibring tallied his seventh 20+ point effort of the season, just missing his season-high of 26 against UNCG on Dec. 17, 2018. He has now scored 20+ points in back-to-back games for the second time this season.
The Phoenix begins a three-game road stretch on Saturday, Jan. 19, visiting William & Mary. The game against the Tribe will tip-off at 4 p.m. inside Kaplan Arena.