ANDERSON, Ind.—A late comeback attempt from Transylvania's men's basketball team came up short on Saturday. In a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup against the Anderson University Ravens, the Pioneers rallied late to trail by just five points inside of two minutes but ultimately it was not enough, as they fell 87-78.
In the first half, Transylvania took an early lead after freshman guard Sam Sergeant pulled down a defensive board and pushed the ball ahead to senior guard Tommy Sirkin. Sirkin would dish to sophomore guard Alex Jones, who would hit a two point jumper and give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead.
The teams would trade baskets for the next several possessions before a three-pointer from Anderson's Nathaniel Acree kick started a 13-3 run for the Ravens, giving Anderson a 23-12 at the 10:29 mark. A jump shot from junior forward Parker Stansberry would halt the run and bring the score to 23-14.
With the lead at nine, the Pioneers would battle and score on three of their next six possessions but struggled to stop a potent Anderson offense that shot 55% in the first half. Transy would bring the deficit to just eight with five minutes left in the opening period after Sergeant knocked down a layup, but Anderson would respond by nailing several shots of their own and expanding their lead to as many as 14. Junior guard Lowell Gordon missed a three at the buzzer, sending the Pioneers to the locker room down 41-27.
Baskets by freshman guards Dillon Pulliam and Tristan Burgess in the opening three minutes of the second half brought the Pioneers within 11, but Transylvania would go cold over the next four minutes while Anderson scored on four of their next six possessions as the lead swelled to 19 with 13:50 remaining.
While Transy would battle, they were unable to cut the Anderson lead below 11 until a three-pointer from Gordon with 3:17 left in the game made the score 71-62. After Anderson made a layup on the next trip down the court, Stansberry would knock down a three-point bucket to bring the Pioneers within eight.
Jones and Burgess would sink three-pointers of their own on the Pioneers' next two possessions and with 1:44, Transy faced just a five point deficit. Anderson would respond, however, by making several jump shots and hitting free throws down the stretch. A layup from the Ravens with 51 seconds left gave the Ravens an 11 point lead and seal the victory for Anderson.
The Pioneers were led in scoring by Stansberry, who poured in 15 points while also picking up five rebounds. Gordon added a season-high 12 while Jones and Sergeant each picked up 11 points for Transylvania, who shot 43% from the field in the game, including 11 three-pointers. Transy struggled from the line, however, making just 47% of their shots from the charity stripe while also committing 13 turnovers.
The loss drops Transylvania to 4-7 on the season, including a 1-3 mark in HCAC play. They return to action on Dec. 7 when they travel to Hanover College (6-5, 3-1 HCAC)