Lexington, Ky. – The No. 21 Transylvania women's basketball team roared to a 101-51 Senior Day victory over the Defiance College Yellow Jackets on Saturday afternoon at the Beck Center for their 16th consecutive win.
Four Pioneers reached double-digit scoring as a day that began with fanfare for the team's five seniors continued into gameplay as the Pioneers moved one win away from clinching a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title.
The Pioneers moved to 21-2 on the year and 15-1 in HCAC play to move within the magic number of one remaining win for at least a share of what would be their first conference regular-season title in four seasons. Defiance fell to 8-15 overall and 7-9 in the conference standings.
The afternoon began with the 2019 edition of Senior Day tributes to the Pioneers' five seniors, forward Kerigan Davis, and guards Macey Ford, Celia Kline, Kristen Hayes, and Taylor Jackson. The five were the first to appear on the floor to begin the contest and lit a spark into the Pioneers' winning chances, unfolding the game on a 12-2 run.
Transylvania continued to build its lead via the outside weapon, hitting 4 of 7 long-distance shots in the first quarter to amass a 29-10 lead after one period.
The Pioneers continued to spread around the ball as Kline, Hayes, and junior guard Ashton Woodard all reached double-digit scoring outputs prior to the half as the Pioneers carried a 47-27 advantage to the break.
Defiance's offense was held in check as the Yellow Jackets shot 0 for 12 from three-point range before hitting their first triple of the day with 1:13 remaining in the first half.
Transylvania began the second half with identical intensity to the opening tip-off, emerging with an 11-0 run which was punctuated with two free throws by Kline off a fast break opportunity. Defiance found its offense following the run, but Woodard and Jackson each buried back to back three-pointers to boost Transy's lead to a 32-point margin.
Transylvania's reserves carried the baton down the stretch before handing it off to the starting five one last time with four minutes to go in the game for a curtain call. The veterans finished off a three-point barrage from outside as the Pioneers connected on 16 of 38 three-pointers Saturday, matching its second-largest output in a game this season.
The Pioneers reached the 100-point mark for the second time this season in Saturday's win as they swept the season series with Defiance.
Kline led the way with 22 points on 7 for 9 shooting, hitting five 3-pointers on the afternoon. Hayes had a Senior Day to remember, pumping in 16 points on 6 for 9 shooting and adding two blocks. Woodard delivered 15 points on an efficient 6 for 7 performance from the floor, and sophomore guard Zenoviah Walker notched 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
Transylvania shot 49 percent from the field while subduing Defiance to 26 percent shooting from the floor.
The Pioneers have one home game remaining in the regular season as they welcome the Franklin College Grizzlies to the Beck Center on Wednesday, February 13 with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. The Pioneers will enter the evening with the opportunity to clinch at least a share of the HCAC regular-season title.
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