It was a 101-68 win for the Elon University men’s basketball team over Division III William Peace University Friday night, but head coach Matt Matheny felt that the Phoenix has a lot to learn going forward.
“We wanted to be victorious, and we were,” Matheny said. “What we got out of this game was the opportunity to get our players’ attention after a victory, and that’s what you want. I think we’ll have our players’ attention. Our players understand that there’s a lot of room for improvement. But we did some good things, too.”
Elon led by as much as 27 in the first half, but the Pacers stormed back and cut the deficit to as low as 10 early in the second half. Sophomore forward Tyler Seibring, who set a career-high with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the line, called the game a “constructive experience.”
“We started off really well, but they picked up some momentum, and we have to learn how to deal with that a little better,” Seibring said. “We’ve got to clean up in those situations, but we held together and finish strong.”
Elon also got a huge burst out of sophomore guard Sheldon Eberhardt, who scored a career-high 11 points in a four-minute span. Matheny said he thought the coaches may have more faith in Eberhardt than he does in himself.
“I do whatever the team wants from me, but I have high expectations of myself,” Eberhardt said. “Last year was hard, but I know I wasn’t good enough yet. I had to improve, get stronger. It was a learning experience for me, coming from high school where you take most of the shots. I had to learn how to change my game a little bit and adapt.”
Elon had five players in double figures on the day, with sophomore guard Dainan Swoope dropping 16 points, and junior guard Dmitri Thompson and redshirt junior forward Brian Dawkins adding 11 each.
The game was scheduled for 8 p.m. but did not start until 9:08 p.m. after the volleyball team’s five-set loss to Hofstra University ran long. But the Elon facilities staff, led by Director of Facilities Brian Dudiak, turned the gym around in short order to keep the delay from lasting late into the night.
The Phoenix is now 1-0 in the season, with its next game 8 p.m. Monday when Elon hosts the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.