Jefferson scores career-high 37 points, Pioneers fall on the road at Hanover in high-scoring affair

Jefferson driving

Hanover, Ind. – A career-high 37 points from Michael Jefferson was not enough for the Transylvania men's basketball team, which picked up a 90-80 loss to the Hanover College Panthers at Collier Arena on Wednesday night.

Jefferson netted his 37 points on a sensational 15-of-19 shooting performance, including a 3-for-6 mark from three-point range. The junior also tallied seven assists and six rebounds in the Transylvania setback as part of one of his best individual all-around performances.

Joining Jefferson in double figures were Gabe Schmitt and Zach Larimore. Schmitt tallied 14 points and five assists, while Larimore added 12 points and six rebounds.

The Panthers' offense proved to be lethal throughout the contest as the home team shot 63 percent from the field and held a 50-34 points in the paint advantage over the Pioneers. Hanover's bench also outscored the Transylvania reserves, 34-14 on the night. 

After battling the Panthers in the game's opening minutes, Larimore knocked down a three-point jumper to give Transylvania its largest lead of the night at 17-13 at the 13:43 mark of the first half.

The Panthers responded with a 12-0 lead to take control of the game at 25-19 with 8:45 remaining in the opening period.

The Pioneers battled back to within eight points of the Panthers late in the half. With seconds left in the opening period, Jefferson drove the ball up the middle of the court and drained a buzzer-beating layup that cut the Hanover lead to 43-37 at the half.

The Pioneers went on a 9-0 run midway through the second half that was capped off by a Larimore jumper to cut the Panthers' lead to 59-58.

Hanover responded with a 12-2 run of their own to push the lead out to 70-61 with just over six minutes remaining in the game.

Transylvania's offense was unable to overcome the Panthers' defense down the stretch, allowing Hanover to capture the 90-80 victory. 

The loss drops Transylvania's record to 7-7 overall and 3-4 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference while Hanover improves to 11-3 overall and 5-2 in league play.

The Pioneers will be back in action on Saturday, January 18, as they travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, for an HCAC matchup against the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers. Tip-off between the Pioneers and the Engineers is set for 3:00 p.m. at Hulbert Arena.

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