Lexington Ky. – Erasing a sizable halftime deficit and enjoying a buzzer-beating tip-in from senior guard Alex Jones, the Transylvania men's basketball team captured a scintillating 86-84 win against the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears to win the Don Lane Classic presented by Kentucky Health Administrators on Wednesday night at the Beck Center.
Jones finished the game with 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting from the field, adding three steals, two assists and a rebound.
The big-game performance earned Jones the tournament's Most Valuable Player award.
In addition to Jones, freshman guard Gabe Schmitt and sophomore guard Cooper Theobald were both named to the all-tournament team for Transylvania. Schmitt scored 17 points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the three-point arc and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Theobald contributed a well-balanced game of 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Trailing the Polar Bears by four points with a minute remaining in the game, freshman guard Spencer McKinney drained a three while getting fouled from the left wing. McKinney then converted from the free-throw line to tie the game at 84-84.
Transylvania then got a huge defensive stop on Ohio Northern's following possession as sophomore forward Gullett provided a key block, giving the Pioneers the opportunity to take the game's final shot.
Winding down the clock with the ball in his hands, Jones drove towards the right post with only a few seconds remaining and pushed up a runner that rolled off the rim. Both Theobald and McKinney followed with tip-in attempts that just missed before Jones's second effort finally fell through the hoop, sealing the victory and the tournament title for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers will return to action after breaking for Christmas when they take on Ohio University – Chillicothe on Thursday, December 21. Tip-off between the Pioneers and the Hilltoppers is set for 2:00 pm at the Beck Center.
For more on Transylvania men's basketball, follow their official twitter @TransyHoops
Don Lane Classic presented by Kentucky Health Administrators All-Tournament Team
Alex Jones (MVP), Transylvania
Cooper Theobald, Transylvania
Joey Hurless, Ohio Northern
Devon Allen, Ohio Northern
Zack Burnett. Lynchburg