Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania men's basketball team started the 2017-18 season in explosive fashion as it defeated the Greenville University Panthers 130-98 at the Beck Center on Wednesday night.
The victory pushes Transylvania to 1-0 on the season as the Pioneers avenged last season's 125-109 nonconference loss at Greenville last November.
The Pioneers were led in scoring by sophomore guard Gabe Schmitt, who recorded 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field, including 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point line. Schmitt also grabbed nine rebounds and fielded three assists in the Pioneers victory.
Five other Pioneers joined Schmitt in double figures, including senior center Robert Dence, who added 13 points in 14 minutes of action, and junior guard Cooper Theobald, who recorded 10 points and eight rebounds for Transylvania.
Rounding out the balanced scoring attack for the Pioneers was the trio of junior forward Bo Schuh, freshman guard Will Sivills, and freshman center Drew Trimble who each scored 12 points apiece in the game.
Known for their high-scoring and uptempo style of play, the Panthers looked to push the pace of play right from the start. However, the Pioneers were prepared to face the full court press and jumped out to an 8-0 lead less than three minutes into the game thanks to a patient press-breaking offense.
After a pair of Greenville free-throws, the Pioneers went on a 16-0 run that was capped off by a thunderous baseline dunk from Schuh, extending Transylvania's lead to 24-2 with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
As the fast-paced game continued, the Pioneers, who shot over 70 percent from the floor while holding Greenville to only 24 percent shooting in the first half, extended their lead to 70-45 heading into halftime.
The second half played out similarly to the first, as the Panthers looked to push the ball while the Pioneers executed their offense with precision.
As Transylvania's lead began to swell towards 40 points, Transylvania head coach Brian Lane was able to reach deep into his bench. All 17 Pioneers that dressed for the game saw at least five minutes of action and made it into the scoring column for Transylvania.
Even with the surplus of reserves in the game, Transylvania was still able to keep the Greenville at bay, as the Pioneers defeat the Panthers by the final score of 130-98.
Transylvania's 130-point was its highest-scoring performance since the Pioneers posted a program-record 134 points on November 29, 2002 versus University of Cincinnati Clermont. The 77 rebounds on Wednesday is believed to be a single-game program record – according to records as of the 2010 season, Transylvania's last single-game rebounding high was 69 boards against Southern Virginia in February 1998.
The victory was an offensive masterpiece for Transylvania, as the Pioneers outscored the Panthers 84-34 on points in the paint, and 34-8 on fast-break points while shooting 65 percent from the field for the game.
Up next, Transylvania will host in-state rival Centre College on Monday, November 20. Tip-off between the Colonels and the Pioneers is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Beck Center.
For more on Transylvania men's basketball, follow @TransySports on Twitter