CHARLESTON, S.C. – Despite Elon University men’s basketball’s efforts to come back from an early deficit, reigning conference champion College of Charleston pulled away late to earn a 72-53 victory on Thursday night, Jan. 24, inside TD Arena.
The Phoenix couldn’t overcome an early 18-2 run by the Cougars early in the first half, despite chipping the deficit to as little as five points with 10:45 remaining. Charleston would pull away late with a 10-0 run in the final two minutes after leading by nine to earn the double-digit victory.
Elon’s (6-15, 2-6 CAA) was paced by Tyler Seibring’s team-high 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and five rebounds. Steven Santa Ana was the other Phoenix to score in double figures scoring 13 points and he added a team-best eight rebounds. Additionally, Chuck Hannah added seven points, while Sheldon Eberhardt, Andy Pack and Simon Wright combined for 17 points off the bench.
Jarrell Brantley led College of Charleston (15-6, 4-4 CAA) with a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds. He was one of three that scored in double figures and Grant Riller added 17 points and Jaylen McManus tallied 12 for the Cougars off the bench.
After both teams traded baskets for the first four minutes to make the score 5-5, Charleston used an 18-2 surge over a 5:11 span to take a 23-7 lead with 10:42 on the clock.
Elon began to fight back with six unanswered points in the next three minutes to cut the deficit to 10, but Riller’s layup at the 6:19 mark put the Cougars ahead 25-13. The Phoenix continued to chip away and cut Charleston’s lead to eight, 27-19, after Wright’s three-pointer from the corner with 4:21 left in the half.
The Phoenix would then cut Charleston’s lead to as little as six in the first half, 29-23, with 1:38 after Eberhardt found Hannah for a layup. Although the Cougars would go back up by 10 at 33-23, Wright hit his second triple of the night with one second remaining in the half to slice Charleston’s lead to 33-26 at the break.
In the second half, the Cougars jumped back out to a double-digit lead and 11-point lead at 39-28 after Nick Harris’ free throw at the 17:26 mark. However, a three-pointer from Seibring and a reverse layup by Eberhardt got the Phoenix right back within six, 39-33, with 16:11 on the clock.
Although CofC would go up by double digits once again 43-33, Elon used a 5-0 run capped off by Andy Pack’s triple at the 13:34 mark to cut Charleston’s lead to five, forcing the Cougars to call a timeout. Elon would then trail by just five once again at 45-40 with 10:45 remaining after Santa Ana’s two free throws.
Charleston created some separation and took a 53-43 lead at the 8:20 mark, but Pack’s second three-pointer of the night 14 seconds later trimmed the Cougars’ lead to seven. Elon answered several CofC baskets over the next four minutes and even trimmed Charleston’s lead to as little six, 55-49, after Eberhardt’s layup at 5:32.
The Cougars continued to push, taking a 13-point lead following Brantley’s three-point play with 3:16 remaining. Undaunted, Elon sliced the deficit back to nine at 62-53 with 2:21 on the clock following baskets by Eberhardt and Seibring. However, Charleston would lay its final blow with a 10-0 run over the final 1:54 to pull away and earn the 72-53 victory.
– Tyler Seibring remains in 10th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,618 career points after scoring 16 against CofC and is eight points behind 9th-placed Lucas Troutman ’14 (1,626)
– Santa Ana extends his double-digit scoring streak to 16 straight games with 13 points against Charleston.
– Seibring increased his career rebound total to 697, which is 37 away from the top-10 in program history.
– College of Charleston improved its record to 20-7 all-time against the Phoenix with the win.
– The Cougars shot the ball 51.9 percent in the second half after shooting just 44.4 percent in the first half.
Elon closes out its three-game road swing on Saturday, Jan. 26, with a trip to UNCW. The game between the Phoenix and the Seahawks will tip-off at 4 p.m.