Pioneers' men's basketball team falls to Mount St. Joseph, 73-68

Pioneers' men's basketball team falls to Mount St. Joseph, 73-68

CINCINNATI, Ohio—Offensive rebounds helped spark a late second half run, lifting Mount St. Joseph over the Transylvania University men's basketball team, 73-68, Wednesday at the Harrington Center.

The Lions slowly chipped away at the Transylvania lead before taking a 64-62 lead with 4:18 left to play. Junior guard Parker Stansberry cut the lead to one, 64-63, with a free-throw after pulling down one of his six rebounds on the night. Freshman Robert Dence put the Pioneers back on top with a tip-in following an offensive miss.

Mount St. Joseph answered on their next trip down the floor with a three-pointer from Ken Kunkel, claiming the lead for good on their way to the win.

"I was really proud of how our guys competed on the road," head coach Brian Lane said. "Mount had a terrific comeback and played stronger down the stretch.  They did a nice job defensively on us the last five minutes and came up with some crucial offensive rebounds off their misses.  We grew up a lot tonight."

Stansberry put the Pioneers on the board first with a basket on Transylvania's first possession taking an early 2-0 lead. The Lions, however, ignited for an 11-2 run before a Transylvania timeout ended the run and switched the momentum in favor of the Pioneers.

Out of the timeout, sophomore Alex Jones netted his fourth point of the night to cut the Lion lead back to five. On the following possession, Jones pulled down a missed three-pointer from Andy Countryman and found Stansberry for the three-point bucket pulling the Pioneers within two, 11-9, with 14:27 left in the first half.

The Lions would turn the ball over before Jones sank a mid-range jumper on the ensuing possession to knot the game up at 11. After trading baskets on their next two trips down the court, Mount built a seven-point lead after a foul and several defensive rebounds.

Transylvania responded with a run of their own, outscoring Mount 10-0 in a three-minute stretch to take a four point, 27-23 lead with 3:57 when Jones knocked down two free throws. The Pioneers continued to build their lead and led by as much as seven with two minutes remaining in the first half. Jones, Stansberry and senior guard Tommy Sirkin each contributed to the Pioneers' late run, as Transy took a 35-29 lead into the break.
 

Jones led the Pioneers with a team-high 18 points and five rebounds.  Stansberry added nine points, along with six rebounds. Freshmen Jake Williams was three-for-four from behind-the-arc for 12 of his 14 points, while Sam Sergeant netted 16 for the Pioneers in the loss.

 

Wednesday's game marked the first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference for both teams. The Pioneers (0-4, 0-1 HCAC) travel to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Saturday for another HCAC contest. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m.