Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania men's basketball team pulled away late to secure an 89-83 victory over the Centre College Colonials in front of an electrifying crowd at the Beck Center on Monday night.
The victory was the Pioneers' first over Centre since 2011 and moves Transylvania to 2-0 on the young season.
Leading the way for the Pioneers was sophomore guard Gabe Schmitt, who scored 27 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field, including a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line. Schmitt also grabbed three rebounds and added an assist in the Pioneer victory.
Freshman guard Michael Jefferson added an efficient 14 points on 6-9 shooting from the field. Jefferson assisted on four Pioneer buckets and recorded two steals, one rebound, and a block in 29 minutes of action.
With the near-capacity crowd in a frenzy at the Beck Center, the game got off to a quick start with the Colonels jumping out to an early 4-0 lead over the Pioneers.
However, the Pioneers responded with a 13-4 run over the next four minutes that was capped off by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Spencer McKinney, pushing Transylvania in front 13-8.
As the flow of the game went back and forth, Centre eventually recaptured the lead at 30-30 with four minutes remaining in the first half.
Schmitt responded with a deep three-pointer that pushed Transylvania back ahead of the visitors. The Pioneers carried a 39-34 lead into the locker room at the half.
With the arrival of the second half came a new level of intensity from both teams. As the two rivals traded baskets, Transylvania kept the lead in hand throughout the half.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Centre pulled within two points of the Pioneers at 69-67, thanks to a pair of Perry Ayers free-throws.
Transylvania responded by going on a 7-0 run over the next three minutes that was capped off by a three-pointer from Schmitt that put Transylvania in front, 76-67.
The Pioneers used good defense and some clutch free throws to battle through the final minutes to an 89-83 victory over the Colonels.
Next up, the Pioneers will travel to Crestview Hills to face the Thomas More University Saints on Saturday, November 25. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center.
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