Pioneers capture crunch-time win in Cincinnati over MSJ

Pioneers capture crunch-time win in Cincinnati over MSJ

Cincinnati, OH – The Transylvania Pioneers went on the road to claim a gut-testing 65-62 upset victory against the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference first-place Mount Saint Joseph Lions.

The Pioneers were lead in scoring by freshman guard Cooper Theobald with 26 points and junior wing Alex Jones, who had 18.

After scoring only six points in the first half, Theobald found a hot-streak in the second half, going 5-for-7 from the field and 10-for-10 from the line for 20 points. Jones, who carried the scoring load for the Pioneers during the first half with 15, hit his biggest shot of the night with 19 seconds left to give the Pios the go-ahead 63-62 lead.

The first half of the game was made up of several runs. After shooting out to a quick 2-0 lead on a jumper by Theobald, the Lions scored the next five points unanswered. Over the next six minutes Transylvania would outscore Mount Saint Joseph 11-2, capped off by two free throws by Tim Bickel to push the score to 13-7 at the 11:56 mark.

The Pioneers and Lions would trade baskets over the next few minutes, and with 8:10 left in the half Transylvania held a two point lead. However, a lethal mix of missed shots and turnovers spread over the latter part of the half translated into a six-point Mount Saint Joseph lead at the half.

During the second half, the Lions would continue to build their lead which grew to 13 with 8:48 left in the game. However, a huge second half by Theobald kept the Pioneers within striking distance.

After fighting hard to stay in the game, a huge 3-ball by Lowell Gordon at the 5:42 mark cut the Lion lead to 51-57. Parker Stansberry would add two big-time buckets of his own in a span of one minute to bring the Pioneers to within three.

With 1:22 remaining in the game, Theobald headed to the free-throw line, where he finished the night a perfect 14-for-14. His two makes brought Transylvania within two. After trading buckets over the next twenty seconds, Jones found himself with enough space from straightaway behind the arc to splash home the game-winner.

With tonight's win, Transylvania moves to 9-6 in the HCAC with an overall record of 10-12, while Mount St. Joseph falls to 11-4 in the conference and an overall record of 15-7. The win propels the Pioneers into a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings with three games remaining in the regular season. The third and fourth place teams in the HCAC regular season are guaranteed a quarterfinal conference tournament game at home.

The Pioneers will look to build upon their three game win streak as they face Defiance this Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. at the Weaner Center in Defiance, Ohio.