McKinney and Schmitt lead Transy men's basketball past Manchester at home

McKinney and Schmitt lead Transy men's basketball past Manchester at home

Lexington, Ky. - Spencer McKinney and Gabe Schmitt combined for 41 points as the Transylvania men's basketball team claimed a 99-81 victory over the Manchester University Spartans at the Beck Center on Saturday afternoon.

The win propels Transylvania's record to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while the Spartans fall to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in league play.

The Spartans and Pioneers battled throughout a fiercely competitive first half. Manchester jumped out to an early 7-0 lead two minutes into the contest, but he Pioneers put a stop to the Spartans run when Zach Larimore knocked down a three-pointer at the 17:26 mark.

Later in the half, Will Sivills scored seven-straight points for the Pioneers, leveling the score at 15-15 with under 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

McKinney scored all eight of his first-half points in the final three minutes of play, bringing Transylvania within one point of the Spartans at the halftime break. For the game, McKinney was 8-of-10 from the field, including a sweltering 6-of-8 from three-point range en route to a season-high 22 points. The senior also tallied four rebounds and four assists.

Three minutes into the second half, Lucas Gentry drove to basket for a layup, absorbing a foul by a Manchester defender. Gentry stepped to the free-throw line and converted the three-point play to give Transylvania its first lead of the day at 52-51.

Schmitt knocked down his fourth three-point basket of the game to extend the Transylvania lead to 71-66 with ten minutes remaining on the clock. Schmitt went 4-for-8 from three-point range on the night and dished out seven assists to go along with 19 points in the Transylvania victory. 

With less than a minute remaining in the game, a three-point basket by Gavin Root extended the Pioneers' lead over the Spartans to its largest of the night at 99-81.

Transylvania shared the ball exceptionally well on Saturday, tallying 27 assists on 39 made field goals. Additionally, nine different Pioneers scored in the victory and Transylvania's bench outscored the Spartan's reserves 36-16. 

The Pioneers will wrap up the 2019 portion of the schedule as they take part in the Don Lane Classic at home next week. Transylvania will face off against the Marietta College Pioneers in the first round of the Classic on Tuesday, December 17.  Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.at the Beck Center. 

For more on Transylvania men's basketball, follow @TransyHoops on Twitter