FRANKLIN, Ind.—Transylvania University's men's basketball team picked up their third consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory on Wednesday night, knocking off the Franklin College Grizzlies 94-85. The Pioneers benefited from an explosive night from forward Parker Stansberry, who dropped 25 points on 50 percent (8-16) shooting.
The Pioneers led wire-to-wire in the contest, with only one tie in the game. After Stansberry scored on the opening possession for Transy, Franklin knotted the score on their next possession. Guard Alex Jones scored the next basket for the Pioneers at the 18:35 mark in the first half, giving Transylvania a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
Stansberry did the bulk of his damage in the opening period, scoring 14 points for Transy. After baskets by Jones and guard Cooper Theobald, Stansberry scored seven of the next 11 points for Transy, helping the Pioneers run out to a 20-13 lead with 10:54 to play in the half.
Franklin would close the gap to four over the next minute of game play but two Stansberry free throws, a layup from forward Robert Dence and a three-pointer from guard Tristan Burgess helped Transylvania stretch their lead to 31-24 just past the 7:30 mark.
Leading 37-32 with 5:20 in the half, Transylvania went on a 13-5 run to end the period, started by two free throws from guard Lowell Gordon and capped by a jumper from Jones with three seconds to play. The basket gave the Pioneers a 50-38 lead heading into the locker room.
Out of the intermission, the ball was in Jones' and Stansberry's hands offensively, as the duo combined to score the first 13 points of the second half. Jones knocked down a jumper and layup on Transylvania's first two possessions of the half before Stansberry scored nine straight for the Pioneers to give them a 63-46 lead at the 15:40 mark.
The Pioneers would continue to pull away over the next five minutes, watching their lead swell to as many as 20 after guard Isaiah Pollard knocked down a jumper with 10:40 to play to make the score 76-56. In the final 10 minutes of play, the teams traded baskets and Transy secured the win with a strong defensive effort in the closing stretch.
Stansberry's 25 points were a game-high but four other Pioneers recorded double-digit scoring efforts. Jones added 16, Theobald dropped 15, Gordon scored 11 and Burgess contributed 12 off the bench. Transylvania took care of the basketball, committing just four turnovers in the contest while forcing 13 Grizzly turnovers. The turnover differential allowed Transylvania a number of extra possessions, which they converted into 17 additional points.
With the win, Transylvania moves to 4-3 in HCAC action, putting them in a tie for fifth place in the conference standings. The Pioneers return to the court on Saturday with another road contest, this time at Manchester University. That game is scheduled to tip off at 3:00pm.