Lexington, Ky. – Led by a season-high 22 points from junior guard Gabe Schmitt, the Transylvania men's basketball team picked up an 81-70 victory over the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers at the Beck Center on Saturday afternoon.
The victory is the Pioneers' second over Rose-Hulman this season and improves their record to 11-8 overall and 8-4 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, while the Fightin' Engineers fall to 13-6 overall and 9-3 in league play.
Joining Schmitt in double figures was senior guard Cooper Theobald who scored 15 points on a 5-for-6 shooting performance from the field to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. Freshman center Luke Schroeder added 11 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes of action for the Pioneers.
The two teams jousted for control of the game in the opening minutes of play. Six quick points from Schroeder gave the Pioneers an 8-7 advantage four minutes into the game.
Less than a minute later, Theobald found Schmitt in transition and the junior knocked down a corner three-pointer to put Transylvania ahead 11-9. Schmitt led all scorers with 16 points in the first half.
The Pioneers were active on the boards early in the game, grabbing 10 offensive rebounds in comparison to just two for the Fightin' Engineers. For the game, Transylvania outrebounded Rose-Hulman 35-25.
The Fightin' Engineers evened the score twice in the waning minutes of the first half, but with just one second remaining on the clock, Schmitt received an inbounds pass and drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to extend the Pioneers' lead to 38-30 at the half.
Rose-Hulman came storming back in the opening minutes of the second half, and with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game, the Engineers' Nick McGrail knocked down a three-pointer to even the score at 45-45.
With the score tied, junior guard Spencer McKinney knocked down a corner three-pointer to give Transylvania a 68-65 lead at the 3:53 mark. Two minutes later, McKinney hit his third triple of the day to extend the Pioneers' lead to 77-70.
The Pioneers closed out the game with six combined made free throws from Theobald and sophomore guard Michael Jefferson en route to the 81-70 victory.
Transylvania shot a season-best 58 percent from three-point range in the victory, while holding the Fightin' Engineers to just 41 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The Pioneers will be back in action on the road on Wednesday, January 31 as they travel to Richmond, Indiana for a matchup against the Earlham College Quakers. The game between the Pioneers and the Quakers is set for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off from the Druley Performance Gymnasium.
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