NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Elon University men’s basketball’s season came to a close on Saturday, March 9, with an 93-86 loss to UNCW in the opening round of the CAA Championships inside North Charleston Coliseum.
Steven Santa Ana poured in a game-high 26 points for the No. 7-seeded Phoenix (11-21) in his final game for the maroon and gold. Additionally, Sheldon Eberhardt tallied 16 points in his last game, while Tyler Seibring concluded his Elon career with 14 points and seven rebounds against the Seahawks. Federico Poser added a boost off the bench finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds.
UNCW (10-22), the No. 10-seed in the CAA Championships, had six players score in double-figures, led by Jeantal Cylla’s team-best 23 points and nine rebounds. Devontae Cacock posted yet another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Ty Gadsden added 16 of his own, Jaylen Sims chipped in 13, while Kai Toews and Jay Estime’ tallied 10 points apiece. Toews also dished out a game-high six assists.
The Seahawks used a blistering 53.2 percent (33-62) shooting and a late 15-point advantage to defeat the Phoenix. Even though Elon cut the deficit to four points with 10 minutes remaining, UNCW built on an eight-point halftime lead and took an 81-66 lead with just over five minutes to play. The Phoenix cut UNCW’s lead to as little as five in the final minutes, but the Seahawks held on for the win.
The Phoenix jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead in the opening three minutes, but UNCW fought back to take a 15-13 lead with 14:19 on the clock following Cacok’s putback layup.
Santa Ana drained a triple with 13:38 on the clock to give the Phoenix a 16-15 lead and Elon would retake the lead two more times over the next minute. After Elon’s 19-18 lead at the 12:04 mark, the Seahawks mounted an 8-2 run to take a 26-21 lead following Fornes’ jumper
UNCW then stretched its lead to 13 with a 10-4 run and Cylla’s three-pointer at the 6:29 mark gave the Seahawks a 36-25 lead. Elon cut into the deficit with a 6-0 run, but an 8-0 run by the Seahawks gave UNCW its largest lead of the half 44-31 with 2:23 left on the clock. The Phoenix would end the half cutting UNCW’s lead to 46-38 at the break.
After Kris Wooten’s three-pointer started the second half, UNCW answered with a 7-0 run to take a 53-41 lead at the 17:53 mark. The Seahawks took a 12-point lead once again when Toews’ jumper at 13:56 gave UNCW a 61-49 advantage. Following UNCW’s 63-52 lead at 12:47, Elon mounted a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to just four 63-59 with 10:12 remaining.
The Seahawks then used a 13-3 surged over the next 5:46 to take a commanding 81-66 advantage with. Elon fought back the rest of the way and trimmed UNCW’s lead to as little as five points in the final minute, but the Seahawks held on for the 93-86 victory.
– Tyler Seibring finishes his career as the program’s NCAA Division I leader in points and rebounds. He tallied a total of 1,794 career points, which ranks 6th on the program’s all-time scoring list. He also finishes 10th all-time in rebounds (779), 2nd in three-pointers made (278), and 8th in blocked shots (81).
– Steven Santa Ana finishes his time in the maroon and gold 16th on the all-time scoring list with 1,409 career points. Additionally, Santa Ana ranks 6th in three-pointers made with 237 triples.
– UNCW improves to 12-10 all-time against the Phoenix and snap a two-game losing streak against Elon. The Phoenix swept the regular season series against the Seahawks.