Bluffton, Ohio – Junior forward Shelby Boyle exploded for a season-high 25 points as the Transylvania women's basketball team picked up a 75-67 win against the Bluffton University Beavers on Saturday afternoon at the Sommer Center.
The Pioneers reeled off their season-best 10th consecutive victory on a day when Transylvania fifth-year head coach Juli Fulks notched her 100th head coaching victory at Transylvania, three weeks after achieving her 250th career victory.
Transylvania collected its second win of the 2018-19 season against the Beavers in as many meetings to sweep the season series and move to 15-2 overall, and 9-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Beavers dropped to 6-11 on the year and 4-6 in conference play.
The 15-2 start to the season for Transylvania is its best start since the 2014-15 season when the Pioneers went 16-1 on the way to a 24-1 regular season.
Transylvania used an overwhelming offensive burst to begin the game to build a sizable lead it leaned upon throughout the game to maintain a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday. Boyle initiated the momentum by scoring the first seven points of the game as the Pioneers took a 7-0 lead inside the first two minutes of the game.
The Beavers went on their first run of the day, inching back within a point at 12-11 with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter, but Boyle answered back with a layup and three-point shot on back to back possessions to extend Transy's lead to 17-11. Boyle's peers joined in the offensive explosion as senior guard Celia Kline hit the first of her three triples on the afternoon and sophomore center Miranda Otero scored inside to double up the Beavers, 22-11.
The Pioneers knocked down 5 of 9 three-pointers in the opening quarter to assume a 27-15 lead at the end of the first. Boyle collected 14 of her 25 points in the quarter and 17 total in the first half for her most prolific scoring output of the season.
Bluffton took its turn in the second quarter showing off its offensive firepower as the host team outscored Transylvania, 26-18 to cut the Pioneers' halftime advantage to 45-41.
The Pioneers took back momentum in the third quarter as junior guard Ashton Woodard scored eight of her 12 points in the frame to lift Transylvania to a 66-54 lead after three quarters. Transylvania went cold from the field in the final quarter, shooting just 2 for 15 from the floor, but gritty defense prevented the Beavers from staging a comeback as the Beavers scored just 13 points in the fourth.
Kline finished the night with 18 points on 6 for 8 shooting from the field, along with three assists and two steals. The senior and Boyle combined to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 83 percent on Saturday.
Transylvania finished the afternoon shooting 13 for 32 from three-point range (41 percent), its fourth-highest amount of made three-pointers in a game this season.
The Pioneers will continue their schedule on Wednesday, January 23 as they head to Hanover, Indiana to take on the Hanover College Panthers at 7:00 p.m. at Collier Arena. It marks the second matchup of the season between the two teams after Transylvania captured the first matchup of the season at the Beck Center on December 5, 2018, an 84-62 win by the Pios.
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