Defiance, OH – Junior guard Alex Jones scored his 1,000th career point, but the Transylvania University men's basketball team fell on the road to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent Defiance College 96-72 Saturday afternoon.
Jones produced a team-high 28 points while handing out four assists. Freshman guard Cooper Theobald grabbed seven rebounds along with 12 points. Senior guard Lowell Gordon and senior forward Parker Stansberry also joined the double-figure scoring for the Pioneers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Pios tied the game on their first possession with a jump shot from Stansberry and the score remained close for the next three minutes of play. The Yellow Jackets then quickly put up eight unanswered points and never looked back to eventually build a 30-point lead with less than two minutes left in the half.
Transy was able to create space and find several shots throughout the first twenty-minutes but struggled to make them count. The Pios went 8-for-29 (27.6%) from the field and only 1-for-8 (12.5%) from 3-point range during the first half of action.
Defiance didn't necessarily "shoot-the-lights-out" either but managed to do enough to cause significant damage in shooting 18-for-33 (54.5%) in field-goals and 7-for-14 (50.0%) from behind-the-arc before the break.
Not only was the ball not falling for the visitors, Transy also had a difficult time in earning any second shots off the misses as they were outrebounded on the defensive side 16-to-10 in the first and 9-to-8 in the second. The Yellow Jackets would finish the game with an advantage on the glass, 36-27.
As second half play opened, Jones took over to get Transylvania back on track by scoring the team's first six points. Converting on his first five attempts of the second half, it was the fourth attempt at the 16:46 minute mark that gave Jones his 1,000th career point.
The Louisville, Ky. native wasn't finished though, and added 14 more points after the monumental basket.
Sparked by the personal achievement, the Pioneers began to find the net and closed the gap to within 12 points at the 14:00 mark and again at the 12:40 mark. Although they outscored the Yellow Jackets 47-44 in the second half, the deficit that was suffered early proved to be too much to overcome.
The current three-game win streak comes to an end and drops Transylvania out of a fourth-place tie to sixth within the conference. Transy is now 9-7 in HCAC play and 10-13 on the season overall.
Two games still remain on the schedule with the first taking place this Wednesday as the Pioneers will host a 2-21 Franklin team at 7:30 pm in the Beck Center. The Pioneers will then take on an 11-12 Manchester squad next Saturday at home as well.
Transy will look to perform well in these last crucial matchups down the stretch in hopes of obtaining fourth place in the HCAC regular season which would give them a guaranteed quarterfinal conference tournament game at home.
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