Second half surge pushes Transylvania past Earlham, 77-64

Second half surge pushes Transylvania past Earlham, 77-64

LEXINGTON, Ky.—A 9-2 first half run fueled by three consecutive three-pointers from freshman Tristan Burgess and a 10-2 run to open the second half propelled the host Transylvania Pioneers to a 77-64 victory over the Earlham Quakers Wednesday night at the Clive M. Beck Center.

Down 17-14 with 12:11 remaining in the first half, Burgess scored three straight baskets from behind-the-arc, and Transylvania opened up a 23-19 lead with 9:46 remaining in the half. Despite the three-point barrage, the Pioneers shot just 13-for-34 (38 percent) from the field in the first half. At the break, Transylvania led just 32-29 as Burgess scored nine points, and Parker Stansberry added eight points and six rebounds in the half. The visiting Quakers kept the game close in the half thanks to 16 points from Elijah Wilson-Thomas.

"I was pleased with our offense rebounding in the first half," head coach Brian Lane said. "We were missing some shots against the zone, but had talked about crashing the offensive glass and that gave us more possessions."

A 10-2 Pioneer run to open the second half secured the Transylvania victory. Sophomore Alex Jones opened the half with a basket, before Stansberry added five straight points and briefly leaving the game with an injury. A free throw and a basket by Sam Sergeant capped the Transylvania run spanning 3:27 as the Pioneers opened a 42-29 lead. After shooting just 38 percent in the first half, Transylvania shot 17-for-33 (52 percent) in the second half. The Pioneers defense also turned up the heat, forcing 11 second half turnovers. Earlham (0-14, 0-7 HCAC) would get no closer than seven points as Transylvania prevailed by a final score of 77-64.

"I liked how we were able to stretch the lead in the second half but it was obvious when our intensity drop defensively, Earlham took advantage and scored," Lane said. "It was another outstanding defensive effort guarding the three."

For the game, Stansberry just missed a double-double, finishing with 22 points and eight rebounds. Jones and Burgess finished with 12 points each. Sergeant also hit double figures with 11 points, and a total of 10 Pioneers scored in the game. The Pioneers pulled down 39 rebounds, including 10 by Dillon Pulliam.

Transylvania (6-8, 3-4 HCAC) travels to Bluffton on Saturday, Jan. 17. The Pioneers return home to face Franklin on Wed., Jan. 21.