In the past, the Elon University men’s basketball team has had no trouble containing the University of Delaware.
Tonight’s contest was no different. The Phoenix handled the visiting Blue Hens 89-76 to extend their all-time record to 7-1 against the University of Delaware.
Elon used a ferocious start to spark their offense, beginning the game on a 17-1 run, hitting their first five three-point attempts. Defensively, Elon held Delaware without a field goal for the first four and a half minutes of the game.
“Great start – 38 minutes to go,” ninth-year head coach Matt Matheny said, appreciating the strong defense early but knowing the importance of looking at the big picture.
Junior forward Tyler Seibring led the team offensively in the first half, scoring 17 points in 17 minutes. He went 3 for 4 from behind the arc and was able to grab five rebounds in the process.
“We got off to a great start; hitting those first few in a row definitely helped. We trust our guys,” Seibring said.
Junior guard Dainan Swoope entered tonight’s contest 11 points shy of becoming the 42nd Elon player to reach the 1,000-point career mark. Midway through the second half, Swoope made a free throw to complete the three-point play, securing his bid into the prestigious club in the process.
Swoope’s night didn't end there. A dagger three on the next drive helped get the Elon lead back up to double digits after the Phoenix saw it dwindle to five. He would tally 19 points in the second half alone to stave off a surging Blue Hen comeback.
“I don’t know what it is about the second half,” Swoope said of his play after halftime. “I guess just sticking with the plan, trying to stay aggressive throughout the whole game, believing in what we do, attacking when we need to attack and getting guys open just trying to make the right plays.”
As of late, the team has turned more and more to Seibring and Swoope for leadership on and off the floor, and they are up to the task.
“We both take our positions seriously as captains on this team,” Seibring said. “That doesn’t always mean scoring a lot of points. We do our best to lead this team and do whatever is necessary. I know I trust [Swoope], and I think he trusts me, to come out every game ready to play.”
The Phoenix was able to secure a conference win for just the second time in their last six tries. Matheny understands that is to be expected in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“We are very happy to get a CAA victory, which are very difficult and challenging to come by,” he said. “Anything can happen. We were down 20 on Thursday night and cut it to three. This league is as crazy a league as I’ve ever been in. It’s wild – every game, every night.”
Elon will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 8, the second game of a three-game home stand, when it hosts the Pride of Hofstra University. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.