Transylvania wins in Don Lane Classic finale over Guilford in tight thriller

Transylvania men's basketball players pose with legendary Transylvania men's coach Don Lane following Thursday's 80-77 victory over Guilford at the 2017 Don Lane Classic
Transylvania men's basketball players pose with legendary Transylvania men's coach Don Lane following Thursday's 80-77 victory over Guilford at the 2017 Don Lane Classic

Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania men's basketball team completed the 8th-annual Don Lane Classic presented by Kentucky Health Administrators and eCoach in dramatic fashion Thursday night, clinching an 80-77 win against the Guilford College Quakers at Don Lane Court.

After seeing a first-half double-digit lead evaporate for the second-consecutive night, the Pioneers made clutch plays down the stretch to overtake Guilford of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference for the razor-thin win.

Transylvania improved to 7-2 with the victory while Guilford fell to 4-6 after the hard-fought loss.

Junior forward Kyle Gullett scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the first half while adding four rebounds and one block on 6-for-11 shooting from the floor, hitting his first three 3-point attempts.

Junior forward Bo Schuh popped off the bench to register a season-high 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field in an active performance. Freshman guard Michael Jefferson had a night to remember, shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, grabbing four rebounds, and matching his career-high with six assists.

Leading 12-7, the Pioneers went on a 13-5 run via three-pointers from Gullett and sophomore guard Spencer McKinney to grow their largest lead of the game at 25-12 with 11 minutes to go in the first half.

Guilford reserve Trevor Hyatt led the Quakers back into the contest as he scored all 11 of his points in the first half, going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field to help cut Transylvania's lead to four by halftime.

The opening minutes of the second half were closely contested as Guilford's leading scorer Carson Long began to break loose on offense as he worked towards a 13-point night.

But Guilford guard Jarrod Rogers hit his first three-pointer of the season and then hit three more in the second half as the Quakers surged ahead of Transy, 62-61 with 12 minutes to go in the second half. A collection of layups by the Quakers pushed their lead to six with eight minutes to go.

The Pioneers swung back as Schuh scored on inside buckets to thin Guilford's lead. Junior guard Cooper Theobald made his way to the free throw line and hit both shots, tying the game at 72-all with 4:37 to go.

Theobald went back to his old high school teammate in Schuh, setting up the forward for the go-ahead layup on a well-timed cut through the lane with 90 seconds remaining and a 74-72 Transy lead.

Both teams split free throws down the stretch as the Pioneers nursed a 79-77 lead with 10 seconds left. Sophomore guard Gabe Schmitt was fouled and hit his first, but missed the second as the Pioneers led by three. The Quakers garnered the rebound and pushed the ball down the floor, but Transylvania was able to redirect the Quakers into a tough final shot from the right wing that glanced off the back iron to end the ballgame.

Gullett was named to the Don Lane Classic All-Tournament Team; Emory & Henry's Colin Molden was named the Classic's MVP.

Transylvania is back in action one week from Thursday when it visits Atlanta, Georgia to take on Birmingham-Southern College in a 4:00 p.m. matchup from Emory University.

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