Terre Haute, Ind. – Unstoppable from outside, the Transylvania men's basketball team picked up a 103-95 victory against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers on Saturday afternoon at Hulbert Arena.
The Pioneers improved to 12-5 overall, and 7-3 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play as their winning streak grew to 10 games, its longest since the 2011-2012 season.
Senior guard Alex Jones led an offensive explosion with a game-high 25 points off a career-high six made three-pointers, while tying a career-high with 12 assists. The guard continued his stretch of outside sharpshooting after going 4-for-5 from outside in Wednesday's victory.
In addition to Jones, the other four Pioneers starters all hit double-figures in scoring as sophomore forward Kyle Gullett followed with an impactful 19-point afternoon to go with five assists, three steals, and one rebound. 15 of Gullett's 19 points came on three-point shooting as he and Jones combined to shoot 11-for-16 from outside.
Gullett and Jones propelled a three-point shooting attack that saw the Pioneers hit 19-for-31 shots from three-point range, tying a program mark for the second-most three-pointers made in a single game.
The Pioneers won a clash of styles featuring the transition-oriented offense of the visiting team, and the brute force offense levied by the Engineers. The Pioneers opened up the game on a 14-4 lead, and while Transylvania led wire-to-wire, the Engineers were close on their tails for much of the afternoon.
The Pioneers hit six of their first seven three-point attempts from outside to create an immediate double-digit lead, and applied heavy defensive pressure in an effort to keep the ball in the open floor. The Pioneers had seven steals in the first half while forcing 10 turnovers by the Engineers, and 15 on the afternoon.
The Engineers sliced Transylvania's lead to five midway through the first half, but the Pioneers forced three straight turnovers on Rose-Hulman. Meanwhile, freshman guard Gabe Schmitt drained a triple to stretch the Pioneers' lead back to double-digits at 27-17.
Sophomore forward Bo Schuh cashed in on two consecutive jumpers to grow Transylvania's lead to 35-22 with 6:35 remaining in the first half. Alex Jones christened a high-scoring first half by hitting a three-pointer as the clock expired for a 54-38 halftime lead.
The Pioneers took control of the game beginning at the 14:39 mark of the second half; after the Engineers went on a second-half run to cut Transy's lead down to five points, Theobald converted an and-one reverse layup for a 64-56 lead. The Pioneers then knocked down six more three-pointers over the next five and a half minutes.
The second of two consecutive threes by Alex Jones to end the stretch handed the Pioneers an 82-64 lead with 8:48 to go. Rose-Hulman was able to cut the lead back down to six points with under a minute to go, but composed execution by the Pioneers put the game away.
Transylvania returned the favor to Rose-Hulman, who handed the Pioneers their only home loss of the season in a 77-70 Engineers victory on December 17. The Pioneers improved to 4-4 away from the Beck Center with the win.
The Pioneers will again put their winning streak on the line this Wednesday, January 25 when they visit the Earlham College Quakers in Richmond, Indiana. Gametime is set for 7:30 p.m.
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NOTE: With a 25-point performance on Saturday, Alex Jones moved past four members of the Transylvania all-time scoring list, including head coach Brian Lane. Jones now has 1,307 career points as he moved past Lane (1,286 points), James Clay, Joey Verax, and Jim Biven to 23rd on the all-time scoring list.