Hayes scores team-high 16 as Pioneers grind out Defiance

Shelby Boyle

Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania women's basketball team extended its season-high win streak to six games by defeating the Defiance College Yellow Jackets 65-52 at the Beck Center on Saturday afternoon.

Junior guard Kristen Hayes led the way offensively for the Pioneers, scoring 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field to go along with two rebounds, one block, and a steal.

Senior forward Rachel Cox continued her recent string of strong performances by scoring 15 points, grabbing six rebounds, and blocking three shots.

Also reaching double figures for the Pioneers was sophomore guard Ashton Woodard who added 12 points on an efficient 4-for-5 shooting performance from the floor to go along with three assists.

The opening minutes of the game were a back-and-forth affair that saw the score tied 13-13 with 4:38 to go in the first quarter. The Pioneers responded with a 7-2 run to close the period to take a 20-15 lead into the second quarter.

The Pioneers continued to build their lead in the second half to an eventual mark of 34-25 thanks to a strong rebounding effort. Led by sophomore guard Shelby Boyle's six first half boards, Transylvania outrebounded Defiance 23-14 in the opening half.

Defiance looked to make a run early in the second half as the Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to just six points one minute into the third quarter.

But Transylvania responded yet again with a 15-10 run over the reminder of the quarter to carry a 51-40 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Pioneers continued to play suffocating defense throughout the fourth quarter as they glided to the 65-52 victory.

Transylvania continued its recent trend of lockdown defense by holding Defiance to 31 percent shooting from the field and blocking eight shots. The Pioneers also outrebounded Defiance 43-30.

With the win, Transylvania's record moves to 9-4 overall and 4-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, good for a share of third place in the conference standings.

Next up the Pioneers will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to face the HCAC rival Mount St. Joseph University Lions on Wednesday night, January 10. Tipoff between the Pioneers and Lions is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Harrington Center.

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