McKinney scores season-high 25 as Transylvania beats Defiance to vault to top of HCAC

Boxscore graphic with McKinney passing

Defiance, Ohio – Junior guard Spencer McKinney scored a season-high 25 points as the Transylvania men's basketball team cruised to an 86-76 victory over the Defiance College Yellow Jackets at the Karl H. Weaner Center on Saturday afternoon.

The victory improves Transylvania's record to 8-5 overall and 5-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, moving the team into a share of first place in the conference standings with Rose-Hulman, who also moved to 5-1 later on Saturday. Transylvania defeated Rose-Hulman in their first meeting of the season and are set to meet again in Lexington on January 26. The loss drops Defiance to 0-6 in league play and 2-11 overall.

McKinney's 25 points came via an impressive shooting performance in which the junior went 8-for-12 from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range.

Also scoring in double figures for the Pioneers was freshman center Luke Schroeder, who tallied 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field to go along with four rebounds in 16 minutes of action.

Transylvania exerted its dominance early in the game as the Pioneers jumped out to an 18-8 lead following a layup by sophomore guard Will Sivills.

McKinney led Transylvania with 14 points in the first half, allowing the Pioneers to take a 47-40 lead at the halftime intermission.

In the second half, the Pioneers' lead reached its apex when sophomore guard Devin Twenty set up freshman forward Zachary Larimore for a driving layup to put Transylvania ahead 69-51 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game.

With less than two minutes left on the clock, senior forward Bo Schuh shut the door on any chance of a Defiance comeback with a spectacular tip-in that pushed Transylvania's advantage back up to 15 points.

For the game, the Pioneers outscored the Yellow Jackets 52-32 in the paint and posted a staggering 28-3 advantage in bench points. Transylvania also recorded 22 assists in the victory, in comparison to just eight Defiance assists.

Up next, the Pioneers will look to grow their current win streak to four games as they travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to take on the Mount St. Joseph University Lions on Wednesday, January 9. The game is set for a 7:30 p.m. tip at the Harrington Center.

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