Transylvania Men suffer overtime heartbreaker to Franklin, 87-84

Transylvania Men suffer overtime heartbreaker to Franklin, 87-84

Lexington, Ky. – A gritty, overtime performance was not enough, as the Transylvania men's basketball team fell to the Franklin Grizzlies 87-84 Wednesday night at the Beck Center. The Pioneers had three players register double figures, and were led by freshman Cooper Theobald's career-high 29 points.

The Pioneers jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead three minutes into the game. However, missed opportunities would allow Franklin to stay close throughout the first half. Senior forward Parker Stansberry led the team with 12 points in the first half.
While Transylvania never trailed in the first half, their largest lead was only seven points at the 6:31 mark. This lack of separation would come back to haunt the Pioneers.
 

Transylvania used a big edge on the glass to protect their lead throughout the half. The Pioneers had three players with five rebounds each, and as a team they outrebounded Franklin 21-13.
This led to 13 second-chance points by Transylvania. While the Pioneers shot a dismal 14 percent from beyond the 3-point line, their free-throw shooting helped make up for it. As a team the Pioneers went 12-for-14 from the charity stripe in the first half.

A sweet lead pass from Stansberry led to a Tim Bickel layup with a minute remaining in the half, making the score 33-28 in favor of the home team. But Franklin answered with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by James Polston to cut Transylvania's lead to 37-35 at the half.
 
The second half of the game was an absolute battle. There were four lead changes within the first two minutes of action, and total of thirteen for the half.
 
On a night they sought a star performance, the Pioneers got one from Theobald. Down 64-60 with seven minutes to go in the game, Theobald fired off seven straight points to put Transylvania up 67-64. A 3-pointer by teammate Lowell Gordon, who had 16 points on the night, made the score 70-65.
 
Franklin would fight back, going on a 5-0 run to tie the game up at 70 with two minutes remaining in the game. Over the next minute of action Theobald would go 4-4 from the free-throw line, giving his Pioneers a 74-72 lead. The Pioneers would not score again in regulation, and with twelve seconds remaining, John Beineke hit a layup to tie the game at 74 to force overtime.
 
The Pioneers found themselves trailing the Grizzlies for the majority of the overtime period. With 14 seconds left Stansberry hit a clutch 3-pointer to cut the Franklin lead to two. After a Transylvania foul, Brett McCory went 1-2 from the line pushing Franklin's lead up to three. Stansberry got another decent look from behind the arc as the clock was about to expire but it fell just short, making the final score  Franklin 87, Transylvania 84.
 
With tonight's loss, Transylvania now holds a record of 9-8 in the HCAC and 10-14 overall, while Franklin moves to 3-14 in the conference with an overall record of 3-21. The loss pulls the Pioneers into a three-way tie for 5th place in the conference standings with one game remaining. The team controls their own destiny, as a win on the final day of the season will propel them into the conference tournament.

The Pioneers look to finish up the regular season with a win as they take on the Manchester Spartans, also 9-8 in conference, this Saturday at home.  Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. at the Beck Center following Senior Day recognition.

For the latest on Pioneers basketball, follow their official twitter page @TransyHoops