Pioneers fall in bid to upend nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon in season opener

Pioneers fall in bid to upend nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon in season opener

Wilmington, Ohio – Three Pioneers scored in double figures, but the Carnegie Mellon Tartans took over late to defeat the Transylvania women's basketball team 80-60 in its 2016-17 season opener.

Playing in the Damon's/Hampton Inn Tip-off Tournament, the Pioneers faced off against nationally-ranked No. 18 Carnegie Mellon in a season-opening tournament hosted by Wilmington College (Ohio). The battle with the Tartans was a tall task, as Carnegie Mellon entered the season coming off of an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Junior forward Rachel Cox opened up the 2016-17 scoring for the Pioneers as she scored a layup early to tie the game at 2-2. Carnegie Mellon managed 60 percent shooting in the first quarter to take an eight-point lead midway through the frame, but the Pioneers relied on two 3-point makes from sophomore point guard Celia Kline to end the quarter within reach of the Tartans at 21-17.

The Tartans maintained their fiery shooting while holding the Pioneers to a 30 percent field goal pace in the second quarter to grab a 49-35 lead at the half.

The Pioneers struck back in the third quarter, winning the ten-minute period, 16 to 12 against Carnegie Mellon and headed to the fourth quarter trailing 61-52. Cox led the way in the third quarter with eight points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field and added four rebounds in the comeback effort.

But Carnegie Mellon took over in the final ten minutes, applying the defensive clamps upon Transy with a 19-9 quarter to coast ahead for the final 80-60 tally.

Cox led the way in scoring for the Pioneers with 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Kline in her new starting point guard role followed with 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Shelby Boyle received her first career start for the Pioneers and hit double figure scoring with 10 points along with three rebounds.

Transylvania won the turnover battle, giving it away just eight times while forcing the Tartans into 10 turnovers, but Carnegie Mellon found its way inside consistently, outscoring the Pioneers 42 to 20 in the paint.

The Pioneers will aim to rebound tomorrow afternoon as they face off against Olivet College in the second day of the Tip-off Tournament at 1:00 p.m.

For more on Transylvania women's basketball, follow their official twitter @TUWBX