Transylvania forwards shine in win over Defiance

Michael Jefferson drives to the hoop

Lexington, Ky. – Freshman Michael Jefferson shot 8-for-9 from the field for a game-high 20 points as the Transylvania men's basketball team bested the Defiance College Yellow Jackets 91-77 Saturday afternoon at the Beck Center.

Joining Jefferson in his high-efficiency performance was junior forward Kyle Gullett, who shot 6-for-6 from the field to finish with 14 points as the Pioneers picked up their 10th overall win of the season.

Transylvania improved to 10-3 overall, and 5-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play while Defiance fell to 3-10 overall, and 2-4 in conference action.

Junior guard Cooper Theobald was the other Pioneer in double figures, scoring 12 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.

Trailing 8-7 early, the Pioneers ripped off 22 of the next 30 points in the game to assume a 29-15 lead with 7:35 left in the first half. Transylvania expanded its to lead to 17 points at the 4:17 mark of the first half after sophomore forward Drew Trimble sank a three-point shot.

Transylvania continued its momentum into the second half as the lead ballooned to 52-28 after scoring the first six points of the half. Defiance went on its most potent stretch of the game, beginning a 9-2 scoring run with 15:30 left in the game. But the Pioneers swung back with a 9-0 run after seeing their lead whittled down to 11 points; Gullett hit three straight buckets to give the Pioneers a 71-49 cushion with 10:36 remaining in the second half.

The Pioneers fought their way to the line for 32 free throw attempts on the afternoon, hitting 25 of them. Transylvania shot 52.5 percent from the field on the day while Defiance shot 48.3 percent from the floor.

Transylvania next faces the Mount St. Joseph University Lions on Wednesday, January 10 in a matchup of two of the top teams in the HCAC. The first-place Lions will put their 6-0 conference record on the line against Transylvania, who sits one game back of them. Tipoff between the HCAC rivals is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. from the Beck Center.

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