Transy defeated the Defiance College Yellow Jackets 87-67 on Saturday at the Beck Center. This was the final home game of the year for the Pioneers, who currently are riding a five-game winning streak. This win puts the Pios at 15-8 overall and 12-4 in conference play.
Before the game, seniors Bo Schuh and Cooper Theobald were honored. Both Theobald and Schuh were key players the whole year, so it was nothing new for the accomplished seniors to be recognized. The seniors each contributed seven points in the rout of the Yellow Jackets.
I was able to talk to Coach Lane the day before the seniors were honored and asked him what Cooper and Bo have meant to the program: “Bo and Cooper have had a significant impact on our program. They arrived to Transylvania at a time where our on-the-court success had dipped a little, and they immediately began to rebuild how our program was perceived nationally. They were teammates in high school so they have a special bond that translates into wins. Cooper has started every game of his career at Transy except for one. His toughness was something we really needed, and he has given that to us for his entire four years. Bo was averaging over 13 points and six rebounds his freshman year when he suffered a season-ending injury. I am proud of how he was able to persevere through that injury and come out on the other side of surgery and be a major contributor for us. Their leadership, either vocally or by their actions on the court and in the locker room, is something that will be missed. They are leaving our Transylvania Basketball program in a much better position than when they arrived four short years ago.”
The basketball team honored the seniors with their play in the first half, exploding to a 34-13 start. A key contributor to the Pios hot start was sophomore forward Lucas Gentry. He had the best start to a basketball game that I have seen in years, making his first seven shots and ending up with 20 points.
After the game, Gentry said “I had a lot of confidence in myself because my teammates shared the ball and got it to me where I was comfortable. My jumper felt great all week and even in warmups, I noticed everything was going in. My teammates knew I was having a special game and their energy allowed me to keep playing at a high level.” Holding a 15-point-halftime lead, Michael Jefferson took control of the offense in the second half finishing with 14 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Jefferson was two rebounds short of a triple-double while also adding two steals.
The only other double figure scorer for the Pioneers was junior sharpshooter Gabe Schmitt, adding 13 points and knocking down three three-pointers in the win. The Pios scorched the nets the entire game, shooting 62 percent from the field. They were also able to get a season high in team assists with 27.
The Pioneers have two games left before conference play starts in two weeks. This week they will look to lock in a two seed for the HCAC tournament.