LEXINGTON, Ky. – Transylvania men's basketball couldn't captialize on a second half lead Saturday, as they fell to the Anderson Ravens, 67-60.
Sophomore Parker Stansberry
was the leading scorer, netting 24 points and nine rebounds, followed by freshman point guard Mason Monroe
with 15 points. But it was sophomore Joe Jennings
who impressed, recording his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, providing a much-needed post-presence.
"It is exciting to see Joe Jennings
get a double-double," said Head Coach Brian Lane
."Because we certainly need more of an inside presence."
The extra effort was needed, as the Pioneers were without one of their leading scorers, Alex Jones
, due to a medical issue. His absence left a substantial gap to fill on the offensive side.
"I told the team before the game that everyone would have to step up when Alex was unable to play," said Head Coach Brian Lane
. "He has been a key guy as second leading scorer and rebounder, one of two with a positive assist to turnover ratio and has developed into one of our better defenders."
The Ravens got off to a hot start, going on an early 8-2 run in the opening three minutes of game play. It was at this point spectators first saw a new look to the Pioneers, as Coach Lane went to a full 5-man rotation during substitutions, giving bench players the opportunity to make an impact.
"The guys off the bench really beat the top seven during the three days of practice leading up to the game," said Coach Lane. "So we thought if they could beat our top guys so convincingly, we would give them a shot. "
The exchange ignited four quick points thanks to a pair of layups by Jennings, but Transylvania still trailed, 10-6. The rotation of five continued until the momentum began to pick up at the 7-minute mark when Stansberry nailed a long 3-point jumper to push Transylvania into double-digits, 12-21.
The shot was all that Transylvania needed to ignite their offense.
The Pioneers spurred a 12-3 run thanks to Stansberry , Jennings, and a 3-pointer by freshman Logan Wade
, putting the team ahead by one, 25-24. It was clear the 5-man rotation had served its purpose.
"They got us back in the game in the first half," said Coach Lane.
Two back-to-back buckets by the Ravens sent Transylvania to the locker room down two, 26-24 at the half.
Immediately out of the half, Wade was fouled on a bucket, and netted the extra point attempt, giving the Pioneers quick one-point advantage. The battle for the lead ensued, as the teams traded jumpers and layups, until Transylvania found a 5-point cushion at the 15-minute mark, 37-32, thanks to two drawn fouls and a pair of free throws by Stansberry.
Anderson would tie up the game twice in the following minutes, tying the contest at 50-50 with 6 minutes remaining in regulation. Trading points, it would be Anderson that would capture a lead that the Pioneers couldn't topple.
The momentum switch to the Raves in the final four minutes, building and maintaining a six-point lead with 45 seconds left. Transylvania would attempt to counter the lead, intentionally fouling in the dwindling seconds, but pivotal made free throws down the stretch secured the Raven win.
"We struggled to score during some key points in the game and had some major defensive breakdowns on their best shooters," said Coach Lane "Anderson had gotten out to big leads in several games this season and just couldn't hang on. Tonight they jumped out to a double digit lead and then did not panic once we went back up by five in the second half."
In the end the result, Coach Lane said, came down to last-second pressure.
"Anderson made the big plays down the stretch and we weren't able to," said.
The Pioneers look to improve this Wednesday as they face Hanover at 7:30 p.m. in the Beck Center.