Anderson, Ind. – The No. 20 Transylvania women's basketball team clinched the outright Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship on Saturday afternoon, closing out the season with an 85-68 victory over the Anderson University Ravens at the O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.
The Pioneers completed a magnificent 2018-19 regular season on an 18-game winning streak, its longest streak in the five-year tenure of head coach Juli Fulks as they finished the regular-season slate with a record of 17-1.
Transylvania completed the regular season on Saturday with a 23-2 overall record, its best record since the 2014-2015 season with Saturday's offensively potent win.
Anderson wrapped up a budding season at 9-16 overall, 5-13 in HCAC play.
Transylvania witnessed career-high performances from sophomore guard Zenoviah Walker and junior forward Shelby Boyle, who each registered new personal scoring highs. Walker finished the day with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field and knocked down a career-high five 3-pointers. Boyle came a rebound shy of a double-double, scoring a career-best 33 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the floor while hitting a sweltering 6-for-9 from outside.
The Pioneers weathered a hot shooting start from the upset-focused Ravens to begin the afternoon as the Ravens unveiled a 21-10 lead after one quarter of play: Anderson shot 58 percent in the first quarter while the Pioneers were a cold 4-for-18 from the field.
Transylvania quickly corrected course in the second quarter, opening up the period on a 13-2 run to tie up Anderson at 25-25. Walker and Boyle each connected on a three-pointer to finish off the run.
Anderson countered with an 8-0 run to stretch their lead to 33-25, but the Pioneers answered back with a barrage of three-pointers to finish the first half on a 14-4 run and a 39-37 lead.
Transylvania hit on five more 3-pointers in the third quarter, courtesy of two by Boyle, one from Walker, and two from senior guard Celia Kline as the Pioneers outscored Anderson 28-17 in reaching their first double-digit advantage of the afternoon.
Consistent outside shooting carried the Pioneers home in the fourth quarter as Walker and Boyle combined to score the first 12 points of the final frame for the Pioneers. With Boyle's jumper at the 6:11 mark of the fourth quarter, the Pioneers observed a 79-63 lead.
Transylvania finished the day shooting 50 percent from the field, hitting on 33-of-66 shots. One game after setting the single-game record for most three-pointers made with 18, the Pioneers were red-hot from outside again on Saturday, knocking down 15-of-30 three-point attempts.
Anderson trailed the Pioneers closely in field goal shooting with a 48 percent shooting afternoon, but Transylvania held an advantage in the three-point department of eight more made triples than the Ravens.
Kline was the other double-digit scorer for the Pioneers on Saturday with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting and a 3-for-4 day from behind the arc. Boyle and senior guard Kristen Hayes each tallied four assists.
With the No. 1 seed and hosting duties secured for next week's HCAC Women's Basketball Tournament, the Pioneers will play on Friday in one of two semifinal games at the Beck Center against the winner of No. 3 Mount St. Joseph and No. 4 Defiance. A tip-off time for Friday's game is to be announced.
The Pioneers are hosting the HCAC Tournament for the first time since the 2014-2015 season, the most recent season in which Transylvania achieved the HCAC regular-season crown.
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