ATLANTA – The Emory University Eagles staved off the Transylvania men's basketball team 87-83 on Friday afternoon at the Woodruff P.E. Center to complete the 2017 Emory Classic.
Four different Pioneers scored in double figures, led by junior forward Kyle Gullett's 18 points, but inconsistent free throw shooting (18-for-27) plagued the Pioneers' comeback effort against the Eagles.
With the result, the Pioneers suffered their third defeat of the season to fall to 8-3 on the year.
Emory opened up the day with staunch defense, holding the Pioneers to 11 points through the first half of the opening half to claim a 22-11 lead with 9:42 remaining in the period. The Pioneers heated up over the final 9:42 of the half, scoring 31 points to forge a 43-42 deficit at halftime. Junior forward Bo Schuh scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half, knocking down four of five shots from the field.
An early second-half jumper from junior guard Cooper Theobald pushed Transylvania ahead, 48-45 but Emory's Christopher Avant responded with a game-tying three-pointer. Emory scored on the ensuing possession to grab a 50-48 lead, one they would maintain, albeit thinly, for the rest of the afternoon.
Avant broke loose inside with a power shot at the 11:29 mark of the second half to grow Emory's lead to 63-56. The close-range shot catalyzed a scoring run that saw the Eagles expand their lead to 78-61 with 6:32 remaining in regulation.
Gullett took the reins on offense to lead the Pioneers on a comeback of their own, scoring on a layup with 2:39 left in the game to cut Emory's lead to 79-73. Freshman guard Michael Jefferson converted on a layup on the next possession to thin the deficit to four points, but the Eagles were able to drain clock and draw fouls late in possessions down the stretch, and closed up shop at the free throw line.
Jefferson finished the day with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals; sophomore forward Drew Trimble was the other double-digit scorer, producing 12 points off the bench. Theobald led all Pioneers with 11 rebounds.
The Pioneers are back in action on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 when they visit the Earlham College Quakers in Richmond, Indiana as they resume Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. from Earlham College.
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