Lexington, KY – Transylvania University men's basketball team had their four-game win streak come to an end Wednesday night against the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leader Mount St. Joseph Lions 69-60. The Pioneers were led by Parker Stansberry (6-for-11 FG) and Alex Jones (7-for-17 FG) who combined for 35 points.
Both teams missed on their first possession before Stansberry put the first points on the board with a three-pointer at 18:50. The Lions returned the favor with a three-pointer of their own as Travis Combs tied the game 3-3 at the 17:58 mark of the first half.
Transylvania would take off from there as Stansberry drove the lane and drew a foul to make it 7-5 at 15:27. After two steals from Jones, Transy enjoyed their biggest lead of the half making it 18-9 with 11:39 left. Mount St. Joseph responded with a three pointer from Combs and a putback to close the gap to 18-14.
The Lions would get within two making it 18-16 at 8:33 but the Pioneers once again extended their lead to nine at the 4:24 mark. Two more Mount St. Joseph threes by Joel Scudder and Jake Cropper followed by a successful drive to the baseline cut the lead to 28-26 by halftime.
Once gameplay resumed, Transylvania's Cooper Theobald picked up two quick fouls within 10 seconds as Mount St. Joseph hit two free throws to knot the game at 28. The tie was the first since the 15:39 mark of the first half. MSJ would take their first lead of the game at 17:10 in the second half making it 28-30.
The rest of the game was a back and forth battle that included several more ties and lead changes. The intensity culminated with 5:55 left in the game when Theobald hit the floor for the Pioneers in an attempt to grab a loose ball against Scudder and Femi Thompson of the Lions. The play resulted in both teams gathering together and a foul against Theobald for reaching in on Thompson. The Mt. St. Joseph senior guard hit one of two free throws, giving Mt. St. Joseph a 61-59 advantage.
Mount St. Joseph's 12-1 run down the stretch proved to be the difference. A collection of second chance opportunities and long jumpers provided the visitors with a 64-51 lead with 2:03 left in regulation.
Coming into the game Transy was the third-leading rebounding team in the conference with 35.8 rebounds per game average, but struggled on the boards as the Lions outrebounded the Pioneers 38-23, including 14 offensive boards. The mulligans for Mt. St. Joseph translated into 17 second chance points, a category the Lions won by 15.
Transylvania moves to 5-4 in the HCAC with an overall record of 6-10, while Mount St. Joseph improves to 8-1 in the conference and an overall record of 11-5. The Pioneers are back in action this Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. tip-off against Rose-Hulman.