Pioneers pick up fourth straight win with 28-point victory over Berry College

Pioneers pick up fourth straight win with 28-point victory over Berry College

LEXINGTON, Ky.—A three-pointer from Parker Stansberry sparked the Transylvania offense, as the Pioneers closed out Sunday's opening game of the Don Lane Classic with a 99-71 win over Berry College. The Vikings quickly pulled within two, 50-38, in the opening minutes of the second  half, before Stansberry and the Pioneers exploded for a 49-23 run to pick up their fourth consecutive win.

For the game, the Pioneers were led by Stansberry who recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds on five-of-five shooting from long range. Jones and Sergeant finished with 16 points each, and Pulliam added 12 points.Robert Dence also finished in double figures with 10 points. 

The Pioneer defense grabbed 34 defensive rebounds and tallied an impressive 22 assists in the win.

"I was a little concerned about our conditioning after three days off for the holidays," head coach Brian Lane said. "But early in the game we were able to get out and score in transition and we felt like we needed to do that more as the game went on. Twenty-two assists in a single game is something that any coach would be proud of."

"I feel like we continue to grow as a team and even though we let a double-digit lead slip away early in the second half, we were able to get things together and push the score back out," Lane said. "I thought one of the plays that epitomizes how we have started winning was Parker Stansberry diving on the floor for a loose ball when we have a 20-point lead."

Berry jumped out to a 2-0 lead but never led again as junior forward Stansberry drained a three-pointer to put the Pioneers up 3-2. The score was briefly tied at 5-5 before an 8-0 Transylvania run yielded a 13-5 Pioneer lead. Although the Vikings shot 42 percent from behind the arc in the half and kept the game close, Transylvania shot nearly 55 percent from the field and 70 percent from the foul line in the first half. At the half, the Pioneers led 44-37.

For the half, the Pioneers were led by sophomore guard Alex Jones and freshman guard Sam Sergeant who each scored 10 points. Dillon Pulliam added eight points, and Stansberry finished the half with five points and six rebounds.

In the first half, Berry College was led by Lee McCloud.  McCloud finished with seven points in the half. Nick Marder and Zack Chaykowsky added six points each for the Vikings.

"When we needed some baskets in the first half Alex Jones was very impressive with his mid-range game," Lane said.

Although Berry's hot shooting from behind the three point line kept them in the game in the first half, the second half belonged to Stansberry and the Pioneers. After the Vikings tied the game at 48-48 with 16:45 remaining, Transylvania used a 22-2 run to take control of the game and open up a 70-50 lead. During the run, the Pioneers held the Vikings scoreless for more than four and a half minutes, and Stansberry added four three-pointers. In the half, Transylvania was eight of 13 from behind the arc (62 percent). The Pioneers defense matched the intensity of the offense, recording five steals and eight turnovers in the half as Transylvania cruised to a 99-71 victory.

Berry College was led by Owen Jacobs who finished with 12 points for the visiting Vikings. McLeod and Marder added 11 points each for the Vikings. Berry College will take on Denison University Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. at the Clive M. Beck Center in the final game of the 2014 Don Lane Classic.

The Pioneers return home on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 at 2 p.m. as they host the Thomas More Saints at the Clive M. Beck Center.