Lexington, Ky. – The No. 13/16 Transylvania women's basketball team opened up the 2019-20 season with a 79-57 home win over the Spalding University Eagles at the Clive M. Beck Center on Tuesday evening.
Led by an immediate 16-point spark from Shelby Boyle in the first quarter, the Pioneers established early momentum in defeating their Bluegrass neighbor on a night that began with Transylvania unveiling its Sweet 16 banner from the legendary 2018-19 season.
In a contest that featured plenty of offense in the first 10 minutes, the Pioneers built a 25-20 lead keyed by Boyle.
Trailing 26-22 early in the second quarter, the Eagles scored five straight points to claim a 27-26 lead. Zenoviah Walker and Grace Shope quickly erased the deficit with back-to-back three-pointers to spur a 12-3 run, giving the Pioneers the lead back for good. Miranda Otero and Ashton Woodard completed the quarter with inside scores to push the Pioneers to a 38-32 halftime lead.
The hustle intensified for Transylvania to begin the second half as the Pioneers ate up the offensive glass. Three consecutive possessions featured at least one offensive rebound and an ensuing putback by Walker, Kennedi Stacy, and Boyle as the Pioneers took their first double-digit lead of the night at 46-36.
Spalding responded by cutting the Pioneers' lead down to four at 46-42 but the Pioneers began sending in a flurry of three-pointers to stretch their lead to 57-45 and took an 11-point lead to the fourth quarter.
Transylvania put the game quickly out of reach with a 14-2 burst to begin the fourth. The Pioneers locked down Spalding 19-8 in the quarter as a whole to finish up the night with a 1-0 start to the season.
Shope finished the night with a career-high 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field. Ashton Woodard provided 14 points, four assists, three rebounds and a steal for Transylvania while Walker scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds to go with two assists in 25 minutes of play.
The Pioneers shot 37 percent from three-point range on the night, sending in 11 long-range shots. Spalding went 7-for-19 from downtown and shot 36 percent from the floor, compared to 47 percent overall by Transy.
The Pioneers return to play on Tuesday, November 19 as they venture south to face the Berea College Mountaineers at 7:00 p.m.
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