Lexington, Ky. – After forging a tie late, the Transylvania men's basketball team yielded a final run by the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers to suffer a 77-70 loss at the Beck Center on Saturday afternoon.
Transylvania dropped to 2-5 overall, and 1-3 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, while the Engineers moved to 4-3 overall, and 3-1 in their HCAC journeys.
Transylvania was led by sophomore forward Kyle Gullett, who posted a game-high 20 points, adding six rebounds and three blocks in defeat.
Other sterling performances came by way of sophomore point guard Cooper Theobald, who checked in with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor, and a game-high eight rebounds. Senior Alex Jones followed with 15 points and a game-best seven assists.
The Pioneers shot 41 percent from the field for the game, but were plagued by poor outside shooting, knocking down six of 26 attempts from the arc. Gullett provided the biggest boost from outdoors, hitting three of his seven long-range shots.
The first half was tightly fought as the Engineers erased an early five-point lead by the Pioneers before each team jousted back and forth. Rose-Hulman used an offensive boost from Collin Wojcik to claim a 35-28 advantage with 3:25 left in the half. Gullett and Jones each struck with late scores to forge a 38-34 Transy deficit at the half.
Through a series of key plays, Rose-Hulman crafted a six-point lead in the early stages of the second half. Responding with a gritty series of possessions, the Pioneers battled for position, collecting backcourt steals and offensive rebounds to stay within four.
The Engineers took an eight-point lead with less than 11 minutes left, but Gullett sunk a three, cutting Rose's margin to 52-47 at the 10:11 mark.
Trailing 61-55 with six minutes to go, Gullett converted on a baseline drive, followed by a Transylania backcourt takeaway. With an extra possession to boot, Jones drove and scored to pull within two.
The Pioneers completed an 8-2 run as Freshman guard Gabe Schmitt's two free throws tied the game at 63-63 with 4:10 remaining. The Engineers immediately responded with a 6-0 run to put space between themselves and the Pioneers down the stretch. Rose-Hulman finished the game on a 14-7 run through pinpoint execution and free-throw shooting in the final moments.
The Pioneers pause their HCAC schedule to prepare for the seventh annual Don Lane Classic presented by Kentucky Health Administrators beginning on Tuesday, December 21 at the Beck Center. Transy will usher in the tournament with a 5:00 p.m. battle versus Huntingdon College on Tuesday. Two-day passes are available for the tournament for $10.
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