Schmitt's 27 leads Pioneers MBB to win at Earlham

Transy 104 Earlham 96 Gabe Schmitt 27 pts

Richmond, Ind. – Sophomore guard Gabe Schmitt matched his career-high scoring mark as the Transylvania men's basketball team forged a 104-96 victory against the Earlham College Quakers Wednesday evening at Schuckman Court.

Transylvania outscored Earlham 58-51 in a high-flying second half to seal its fourth win in five Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference games this season, raising its overall record to 9-3. The Quakers fell to 3-9 overall, and 1-4 in HCAC play.

Schmitt scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half, knocking down six of eight 3-point attempts in the final half of play to push the Pioneers to victory. His 27-point night equaled his previous career high, set on November 20, 2017 in an 89-83 win versus Centre.

Junior forward Kyle Gullett notched 14 of his 23 points in the second half, finishing 8-for-9 from the floor for the evening and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Junior guard Cooper Theobald led the Pioneers with seven rebounds, while freshman guard Michael Jefferson was the night's assist leader with eight dimes.

Wednesday's first half was a closely-waged affair as Transylvania found itself with an 18-16 advantage at the midway point of the first half. A 3-ball from junior forward Bo Schuh handed the Pioneers a 28-21 lead but Earlham responded with a 14-6 run over the next six minutes to take a 35-34 lead.

Sophomore guard Spencer McKinney set up his fellow peer in Schmitt with a go-ahead three-pointer with 25 seconds remaining in the half to give Transy a 46-45 lead while also previewing a second-half outburst by the team's leading scorer.

Schmitt opened up the second half with back-to-back triples and Gullett scored a putback as Transylvania produced a 54-48 lead 75 seconds into the half.

Consistent scoring from Gullett and Schmitt held a hungry Earlham team at bay and freshman guard Spencer Hemmerich buried two free throws for Transylvania's first double-digit lead of the second half as the Pioneers went ahead 83-73 with nine minutes left in the game.

Earlham never got closer than within six points down the stretch as clutch free throws from Theobald and Gullett sealed the victory for Transylvania.

After three straight road games, the Pioneers return home on Saturday, January 6 to host the Defiance College Yellow Jackets in the second game of a women's-men's HCAC doubleheader. The Pioneers tip-off with the Jackets at 3:00 p.m. at the Clive M. Beck Center in Lexington following the 1:00 p.m. women's matchup.

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