Men's Basketball

Transy men rally for win over Defiance

Even Transylvania Coach Brian Lane didn't know exactly how Defiance threw his team into a tizzy to start the second half Wednesday night.

The visiting Yellow Jackets swarmed the Pioneers, forced turnovers, held them to seven points for almost 13 minutes and overcame a game-long deficit to take the lead.

But in the Heartland Conference showdown for second place, Transylvania prevailed 53-48 to take a one-game lead over the defending regular-season champions. Franklin (10-2) remained in first place by defeating Manchester.

Even though he told his players they must "win" the last 10 minutes, Lane had to wait until 7:12 was left before the Pioneers began putting enough points together to prevail.

Transylvania (15-4, 9-2) opened the second half by going 3-for-11 from the field. The Jackets took advantage and grabbed the lead midway through the half.

"Defiance did a great job defending us coming out (for the half)," Lane said. "We turned it over and had to get much better possessions."

Guard Tim Tierney started the turnaround with a steal and layup to tie the score at 42.

After a Jackets' miss, Joey Verax drove for a layup and the lead with 5:17 left.

Verax hit a turnaround jumper in the paint to put Transylvania ahead to stay at 46-44 with 3:46 left.

The teams were scoreless for the next two minutes until Transy's Aaron Cash made a three-pointer on a Tierney assist with 1:39 left.

"Cash hit a tough three," Lane said of the shot that came with three seconds on the shot clock. "We struggled with the threes all night, and he made both of them, none bigger (than his second one)."

Both teams had fouls to give, and the Pioneers managed to make four of seven free throws once they got in the bonus down the stretch.

Defiance (13-7, 8-3) had only one field goal in the last four minutes. The Jackets' only other points came on two free throws after a Transy technical foul with one second left.

The Yellow Jackets missed five of their last six shots and committed three turnovers during that stretch.

Tierney led the Pioneers with 15 points. He also had five rebounds.

Brock Jones had 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds off the bench. Blake McCowan scored 10 points.

Verex, tightly covered by the Jackets, was 3-for-12 from the field for six points. He was averaging 17 points.

Center Anthony Pettaway scored 18 points and had eight rebounds for Defiance.

"We tried to make it tough for him to make passes," said Lane of the Heartland's assist leader. Floyd, averaging 7.4 assists, was held to only two.

Transylvania clinched a berth in the six-team HCAC tournament.

transylvania 53, defiance 48

DEFIANCE (13-7, 8-3 HCAC) — Sales 6-9 0-0 12, Pettaway 9-12 0-0 18, Floyd 4-15 3-5 11, Stolly 0-2 0-0 0, Armstrong 1-8 4-4 7, Hoke 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 0-2 0-0 0, Conley 0-0 0-0 0, Stuckey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 7-9 48

TRANSYLVANIA (15-4, 9-2) — Verax 3-12 0-1 6, McCowan 5-10 0-0 10, Tierney 6-10 3-5 15, Cash 2-4 2-2 8, Parton 0-1 0-0 0, Bauman 0-0 2-3 2, Owens 0-2 1-2 1, Jones 5-10 1-3 4, Wise 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 9-16 53.

Halftime—Transylvania 31-25. Three-point goals—Defiance 1-11 (Armstrong 1-6, Pettaway 0-1, Stolly 0-1, Floyd 0-3), Transylvania 2-11 (Cash 2-2, McCowan 0-1, Verax 0-2, Tierney 0-2, Owens 0-2, Jones 0-2). Rebounds—Defiance 34 (Sales 10), Transylvania 28 (Jones 7). Assists—Defiance 6 (Sales 2, Floyd 2), Transylvania 6 (Tierney 2). Fouled out—None. Total fouls—Defiance 16, Transylvania 11. Turnovers—Defiance 13, Transylvania 7. A—509.