In a matchup of the top two teams in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Transylvania men's basketball team fell to the Mount St. Joseph University Lions 73-64 at the Beck Center on Wednesday evening.
With the loss, Transylvania's record drops to 10-4 overall and 5-2 in HCAC play. The Pioneers are currently tied for third place in the conference standings while Mt. St. Joseph remains in first place with a 7-0 HCAC record.
The Pioneers were led in scoring by junior guard Cooper Theobald, who added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 shooting from the free-throw line to go along with five rebounds in 32 minutes of action.
Joining Theobald in double figures was freshman guard Michael Jefferson who scored 12 points, and added five assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
The Lions looked to take control of the game early as they jumped out to an 11-4 lead just under five minutes into the game.
Transylvania responded with a 16-2 run over the next five minutes that gave the Pioneers a 20-13 lead with 10:20 to play in the half.
Not to be outdone, the Lions came roaring back to take a 33-30 lead into the locker room at the half.
Some timely three-pointers and key defensive plays by Mount St. Joseph early in the second half allowed the Lions to extend their lead to 51-42 with 12:22 remaining in the game.
The Pioneers were able to cut the defect to five points several times in the waning moments of the game, but were unable to string together enough stops to overtake the Lions.
Mount St. Joseph continued to frustrate the Pioneers defensively in the second half, forcing five more Transylvania turnovers.
Conversely, the Lions shot a blistering 58.3 percent from the field in the second half en route to the 73-64 defeat of the Pioneers.
Transylvania will look to rebound from tonight's loss as the Pioneers host the Manchester University Spartans in game two of an HCAC doubleheader on Saturday, January 13. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. at the Beck Center.
For more on Transylvania men's basketball, follow @TransyHoops on Twitter
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