PASADENA, Calif.—The Transylvania University men's basketball team won the first game of their California road trip against Caltech by way of a double overtime thriller. The Pioneers rode a 32 point performance from sophomore guard Alex Jones to a 93-81 victory.
Transy outscored the Beavers of Caltech 16-4 in the second overtime period to move past Caltech. Junior forward Parker Stansberry opened the scoring for Transylvania in the second overtime with a layup on the Pioneers' opening possession of the period and Transy took a 79 77 lead.
Freshman guard Jake Williams pulled down one of his four defensive rebounds after the Beavers missed a three on the other end of the court. The Pioneers would respond by coming down the court and sinking one of two free throws after being fouled.
Transylvania would come up with another stop on their next defensive trip and Stansberry would snag a rebound before making his second layup of the period on the ensuing possession to give the Pioneers a five point, 82-77, lead with 3:01 remaining in the game.
Transy would go on to score on three of their next four possessions and after senior guard Tommy Sirkin nailed two free throws with 42 seconds left, the Pioneers held an eleven point lead, 90-79. Jones would score the final three points for the Pioneers and his jumper with 16 seconds remaining capped the scoring for the night for Transylvania.
The Pioneers fell behind early in the game, with Caltech opening up with an 11-2 run. But a Jones layup would spark a run from Transylvania and after a three-pointer from freshman guard Dillion Pulliam with 13:59 left in the first period, Transy had pulled within five, 18-13.
Caltech would continue to extend their lead through the rest of the half, due in part to seven Pioneer turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. Caltech shot a strong 54.5% (6-11) from the three-point line, as well as outrebounding Transylvania, en route to a 34-27 lead heading into the locker room.
Transy would come out swinging in the second half, knocking down nearly 62% (16-26) of their field goal attempts in the second 20 minutes. Jones, who scored eight points in the second half, made a flurry of midrange jumpshots and layups, shooting 8-11 from the floor to score 19 points in the second period.
After a Caltech layup with 15:04 gave the Beavers a 42-35 lead, the Pioneers would respond by going on a 19-9 run, sparked by a Stansberry three-pointer at the 13:54 mark. Williams would hit a three with 7:03 left and the Transylvania took a 54-52 lead.
The teams would go back and forth for the remainder of the period but the Pioneers held onto a two point lead with 25 seconds left in the second half. Freshman guard Sam Sergeant missed a free throw with 22 seconds remaining and on Caltech's next possession, Jones committed a foul to send the Beavers to the line with three seconds on the clock. They would hit both free throws to tie the game at 67. Sirkin would miss a buzzer-beater attempt and the game would go to the first overtime period.
In the first overtime, neither team could distance itself from the other nor held a lead larger than three points. With 2:05 left, Stansberry made a layup to give the Pioneers a 75-74 lead but on the Beavers' next possession, they knocked down a three to retake the lead and put the pressure on Transy. Stansberry would respond with yet another layup to knot the game at 77 with 21 left in the period. After Caltech missed a three at the buzzer, Transylvania would pull away in the second half.
Jones' 32 points were a game-high for both teams. Four of the five Pioneer starters scored in double figures, including 18 from Stansberry, who was Transylvania's second-leading scorer. Stansberry also pulled down 12 rebounds, giving him his first double-double of the season.
With the win, Transylvania moves to 2-5 on the season. They will take on La Verne University (2-2) on Thursday, Dec. 18 before returning home for the Don Lane Classic.