Lexington, Ky. – A key run surrounding the halftime break lifted the Transylvania men's basketball team to an 81-67 win over the Bluffton University Beavers Saturday evening at the Beck Center.
After a closely-waged game for most of the first half, the Pioneers erupted on a scoring run composed of free throws and back-to-back fast breaks to build their first double-digit lead of the day. Junior Bo Schuh capped off an 18-5 scoring run to end the half on a buzzer-beating layup to provide the Pioneers with sustaining momentum for the rest of the game.
The win elevated the Pioneers to a 12-4 overall record and an 8-2 record in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Bluffton dropped to 8-8 overall and 5-5 in conference competition.
Four different Pioneers scored in double-figures, led by junior guard Cooper Theobald's 18 points, 10 of which came from the free-throw line. Junior forward Kyle Gullett added 17 points and two blocks, while sophomore guard Gabe Schmitt hit 4-of-7 three-point attempts to finish with 14 points.
Junior guard Spencer McKinney added 12 points off the bench in a game that witnessed a muggy pace. In the first 16 minutes of gameplay, both teams combined for 23 fouls compared to 15 made field goals.
Fighting their way into the double bonus early in the first half, the Pioneers began creating separation as Theobald maneuvered his way to the foul line, eventually finishing with 11 free throws attempted for the day. The junior knocked down six free throws in a row to hand the Pioneers a 29-27 advantage at the 3:23 mark of the first half.
Junior forward Bo Schuh scored on a drive and McKinney followed with a corner three-pointer to extend Transylvania's lead to 35-27 with 1:34 left in the half. The Pioneers continued the run as Schmitt hit a long jumper, and Schuh hit two more layups inside the final 40 seconds of the half, capped off by a quick outlet that led to a half-ending strike by Schuh and a 41-29 lead.
Transylvania will next visit the Hanover College Panthers on Wednesday, January 24 in Hanover, Indiana. Tipoff between the Pioneers and Panthers is set for 7:30 p.m. from Collier Arena.
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