Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania men's basketball team opened the annual Don Lane Classic with a stunning 82-78 loss to the Emory & Henry College Wasps at the Beck Center on Wednesday night.
Leading the way for Transylvania was junior forward Kyle Gullett, who stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, four rebounds, and three blocks.
Freshman guard Michael Jefferson turned in a strong 20-point performance on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, with 18 of his points coming in the second half.
Joining Gullett and Jefferson in double figures was sophomore guard Gabe Schmitt, who had 10 points on the night to go along with four assists and two rebounds.
As the game began, both teams looked to impose their will on the other, trading buckets to an eventual score of 12-12 with 13:21 left in the first half.
Transylvania then went in control as the Pioneers leaned on hot shooting from outside to build their lead to 18 points at the 2:19 mark of the first half. The Pioneers shot 6-of 9 from three-point range in the half.
A key stretch in the game came late in the first half when the Wasps went on a 6-0 run of their own to cut the Pioneers' lead to 41-29 heading into intermission.
The start of the second half mirrored the first as the two teams went back and forth, looking to gain advantage.
Emory & Henry continued to cut away at the Transylvania lead throughout the half while the Pioneers' outside-shooting cooled. After struggling from outside to open up the game, the Wasps followed up a 1-for-7 start from the three-point stripe by hitting five of their next eight attempts from downtown.
After a gradual battle back, the Wasps eventually took the lead at 65-63 lead at the 4:09 mark of the second half on an offensive putback by Alec Wynn.
With less than three minutes in the contest, Jefferson made a pair back-to-back buckets, followed by a deep three-pointer from Gullett to cut the Wasps' lead to 71-70.
But Transylvania was unable to get the one additional stop it needed down the stretch, and Emory & Henry held on for the 82-78 victory.
With the loss, Transylvania now drops to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Pioneers will return to the court tomorrow afternoon to face the Guilford College Quakers in the final game of the Don Lane Classic. Tipoff between the Pioneers and the Quakers is set for 5:00 p.m. at the Beck Center following the matchup between Emory & Henry and North Park.
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