Gullett and Co. catch fire from outside as Pioneers overwhelm Franklin

Sophomore F Kyle Gullett hit a career-high six 3-pointers in Wednesday's win at Franklin
Sophomore F Kyle Gullett hit a career-high six 3-pointers in Wednesday's win at Franklin

Franklin, Ind. – The Transylvania men's basketball team unleashed its full arsenal from outside as it cruised to an 87-68 win over the Franklin College Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the Spurlock Center.

The Pioneers shot nearly 42 percent from the 3-point line as they buried 13 triples on the night. The ringleader of the operation was sophomore forward Kyle Gullett, who sank a career-high six 3-balls in the victory while notching a game-high 24 points. Gullett's game was as efficient as it was prolific; the sophomore shot 6-for-9 from outside and 9-for-13 from the field overall.

Transylvania improved to 15-8 overall, and 11-6 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play to maintain a share of fourth place with one game remaining in their regular season docket.

The Pioneers spent the first half manufacturing a wave of runs before moving onto victory through a second half that was without any major drama or scares to the Pioneers' lead.

Using a steady balance of inside-outside offense to begin the contest, the Pioneers opened the game shooting 60 percent as they took a 15-8 lead on Franklin. Minutes later, Transylvania unleashed a 12-0 run as junior forward Robert Dence scored his seventh and eight points of the night on the way to a 10-point night off the bench. After Franklin stopped the run with a bucket, freshman guard Spencer McKinney stretched the lead to 18 with a straightaway triple.

Junior forward Tristan Burgess, junior guard Isaiah Pollard, and Gullett all joined in on the three-point throng to end the first half as the Pioneers carried a 22-point lead to the locker room.

Franklin outscored Transylvania 40 to 37 in the second half, but the Pioneers received five more 3-pointers and outrebounded Franklin 18-13 over the final 20 minutes to keep the Grizzlies at bay. Gullett scored 13 of his 24 points in the second half to push the Pioneers to the summit.

Freshman guard Gabe Schmitt was the other Pioneer to hit double-figure scoring on Wednesday with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal as he shot 60 percent from the field.

The Pioneers will aim to close their regular season with a win on Saturday as they visit the Manchester University Spartans. On the line for the Pioneers will be a shot at the No. 4 seed in the HCAC Tournament, which is projected to begin one week from Friday at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. Tipoff between the Pioneers and Manchester is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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