Middle 20 hinders Pioneers women’s basketball in season opener

Transylvania 67, Marietta 70 in women's basketball, celia kline with 18 pts, 2 assists, and 4-8 3 pt FG

Marietta, Ohio – The Transylvania women's basketball team had its hopes for a season-opening victory stifled by the Marietta College Pioneers in a 70-67 defeat Sunday afternoon at Ban Johnson Arena.

Transylvania saw a game-opening 14-point lead evaporate in a 30-point turnaround favoring the host Marietta Pioneers over the second and third quarters of Sunday's contest.

Junior guard Celia Kline led off the game with an eight-point first quarter on the way to scoring a game-high 18 points.

The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference 2016-2017 leader in 3-pointers made, Kline hit two of her four triples in the opening quarter as Transylvania cruised to a 22-8 lead after the first quarter.

That momentum did not carry over to the second quarter, as Marietta settled down and began the second quarter on a 16-3 run. A 3-pointer from freshman guard Zenoviah Walker halted the run as the Transylvania Pioneers went ahead, 28-24. But Marietta finished the half with power as the hosts took a 29-28 lead into the break.

Marietta continued to slice into Transylvania's defense, opening up a 49-33 lead with six minutes left in the third quarter. Transylvania's offense reignited as the Pioneers began finding success on the offensive boards. A collection of second-chance opportunities helped Transy's comeback effort, galvanized by a 3-pointer from junior guard Taylor Jackson to cut Marietta's advantage to 49-40.

Trailing by 10 heading into the fourth quarter, early makes from guard Shelby Boyle and forward Rachel Cox thinned Marietta's advantage to 53-50.

But the home team answered back with two straight buckets to secure a 57-50 lead, and both sides spent the next four minutes trading back equal possessions. Marietta carried a 65-58 advantage into the final two minutes.

In a two-minute drill situation, junior guard Kristen Hayes knocked down two free throws and then set up Cox on an inside bucket to pull within three points. But Marietta fed forward Alexis Enochs on the ensuing possession for an inside connection to put the host Pioneers back up by five. Enochs and fellow post Corrie Burkhardt combined for a 14-for-16 day from the floor for Marietta.

Along with Kline, three other Pioneers scored in double figures on Sunday. Boyle registered 11 points while sophomore guard Ashton Woodard went 2-for-5 from behind the arc to deliver 10. Jackson added 10 off the bench for Transylvania, a high among reserves.

Transylvania returns to the court this Saturday, November 25 for the opening day of the annual Pat Deacon Classic. The Pioneers will host the Otterbein University Cardinals, their second straight Ohio Athletic Conference opponent, at 6:00 p.m. at the Clive M. Beck Center.

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