Lexington, Ky. – An explosive second half for the Transylvania men’s basketball team quickly translated into its third conference win of the season in four games as the Pioneers dominated the Anderson University Ravens, 93-56 on Saturday afternoon at the Beck Center.
Holding a 43-42 lead over Anderson at halftime, the Pioneers stormed out of the locker room on a 13-2 run. With three-pointers falling consistently and the defense remaining clamped upon every Anderson attack, the Pioneers went on to outscore Anderson 50 to 14 in the second half to move to 6-5 overall and 3-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Anderson fell to 3-6 overall, and 2-2 in conference competition.
The Pioneers overwhelmed Anderson in three-point shooting, knocking down 7 of 11 tries in the second half to galvanize the half-length run. Anderson struggled mightily from behind the arc, missing on all 12 of its three-point attempts.
Sophomore guard Michael Jefferson led the Pioneers with a game-high 18 points on a perfect 8 for 8 day from the floor, adding six rebounds and six assists. Senior guard Cooper Theobald racked up 16 points on 5 for 8 shooting from the field and a 6 for 7 day from the free-throw line, providing seven rebounds and four assists.
Junior guard Gabe Schmitt was the Pioneers’ other double-digit scorer on Saturday with 13 points on 6 for 8 shooting from the floor.
The Pioneers hit on 20 of 29 shots in the second half for 69 percent and shot 62 percent from the field for the full afternoon. Anderson was held to 33 percent from the field and just 5 for 30 shooting in the second half as the Pioneers put together one of the program’s best-ever halves.
The afternoon was one of runs, the apex being a 16-minute stretch to begin the second half that all belonged to the Pioneers. Transylvania hit on seven of its first 10 shots of the day to go up 17-12 before Anderson later responded on a 14-0 run to take a 33-27 lead. The Pioneers answered with consecutive turnovers forced, spurring a string of fast-break buckets that led to a 6-0 run. Both teams played evenly the rest of the half as the Pioneers carried a 43-42 lead to the break.
The Pioneers began the second half with extreme focus as Theobald completed a successful trip to the free-throw line and Jefferson followed with an and-one play. Schmitt then delivered two consecutive buckets as Transylvania used a 9-0 opening-half run that the Pioneers would build upon for the rest of the afternoon.
Transylvania continued an extended run, outscoring Anderson 39-8 for the first 16 minutes of the second half to remain undefeated at home on the year.
The Pioneers next play on Tuesday, December 18 as they reign in the 2018 edition of the Don Lane Classic. The three-day round-robin format will open with a 5:00 p.m. tip on Tuesday between the Pioneers and the University of Chicago at the Beck Center.
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