The clock struck midnight on Transylvania's enchanted season.
Carroll College stunned 18th-ranked Transy 84-74 in the NCAA III Midwest Regional semifinals in Tranylvania's Beck Center.
Carroll will meet Wittenberg, a 63-56 winner over Birmingham Southern, in the regional finals Saturday at 7 p.m.
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Friday's doubleheader, scheduled for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., started more than 2½ hours late because of severe weather in the area.
Transy's game didn't end until early Saturday, a few minutes past midnight.
"I told our guys we did a lot of great things this season — tied the school record for best start, winning 10 at one time, winning 11 at the other, having a super conference run, winning by four games and getting one of the higher seeds in the Midwest to be able to host," Transy Coach Brian Lane said. "I told them later on they'll understand the significance of how well they did to put themselves in position. But that doesn't help tonight with how they're feeling."
In a clash of teams nicknamed Pioneers, it was the road 'Neers who shot like the Beck Center was home.
Carroll finished 26-for-44 (59.1 percent) from the field, including 9-for-15 (60 percent) from three-point range, while sinking 23 of 28 free throws (82.1 percent).
Transy shot 28-for-60 (46.7 percent), 6-for-21 (28.6 percent) from long range and shot itself in the foot by going 12-for-22 (54.5 percent) at the free-throw line.
Carroll (16-9) put six scorers in double figures. Dan Kratz and Alec Molter scored 15 each, Kevin Hurd and Christian Shepley had 13 apiece, Kyle Jones scored 11 and Jake Bast added 10. Kratz also grabbed eight rebounds.
"I think we're just really playing together and really looking for each other, so it feels pretty good," said Jones, a 6-foot-4 senior who shot 3-for-3 from three-point range and 2-for-2 at the foul line. "We've been continuing our momentum that we had coming into this tournament. We've won our last five games now, so we have a lot of confidence."
Barrett Meyer paced Transy (23-5) with 18 points.
"We just ran into a hot team," said Meyer, who scored 14 second-half points. "Their record didn't show them to be one of the greater teams in our region ... but they were hot. They won their conference championship by twenty-some points. Honestly, we weren't ready for it the first half. We didn't match their physicality, and they just beat us up in the first half."
Transy's Tate Cox totaled 16 points, four assists and three steals, and Ethan Spurlin had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Brandon Rash, averaging 15.9 points, was held to seven first-half points and played only 21 minutes before fouling out.
"We've been shooting the ball well," winning coach David Buchanan said. "Our biggest thing was just to keep the basketball moving. I really felt that if we forced Transy to have to get from the front to having to at least cover up Molter, our big kid down low, it would draw some help, and I think they were really aware of that.
"Alec getting off to a good start actually created those threes, I thought, for our guys because they had to pay attention to him."
Carroll made six of 10 three-point shots en route to a 41-32 halftime lead. Kratz made two of the bombs and led the visitors with 10 points
Rash scored seven for Transy, which was outshot from the floor 58.3 percent (14-for-24) to 50 percent (13-for-26) in the first 20 minutes.
Carroll pushed the lead to 17 in the second half, the last time at 60-43 with 11:05 left.
Transy pulled to within six with 4½ minutes left, 71-65, but could get no closer.
"We just kept telling ourselves we were in it," Meyer said. "Just a couple bounces go our way, it could have happened. But we put ourselves in that position with a poor first half, and we didn't defend at all. They just shot wide-open threes and knocked them down."
Still, the partisan home crowd of 1,089 roared when Transy cut the gap to six a last time, 78-72, off a Cox steal-and-layup with 1:25 left.
Carroll's Jones made two free throws with 1:09 left and, after a Cox miss, Shepley converted a runout with 59 seconds left.
"Our guys held on. We did shoot the ball well," Buchanan said. "I thought we did a nice job making enough free throws down the stretch to keep that cushion.
"I knew they were going to make a run. They were making that run, and it was big for us to get that back to eight points to hold on late."
Lane said he "got on" his team at halftime. He felt his team got pushed around in the first half, but it picked up the pace in the second half.
The free-throw misses were big, though.
"They kind of sucked the momentum out of us there for a while," Lane said. "... The inability to guard them down the stretch. That's what got us in the championship of the Heartland (an overtime loss to Rose-Hulman) and that's what got us tonight. I mean, you can't give up crazy numbers like 59 percent and 60 (percent) from three and expect to win."
For Carroll, which earned an automatic NCAA bid by winning the Midwest Conference Tournament, the win was huge.
"This is a big 'program win' for us because of who we beat tonight," Buchanan said. "And that's the biggest compliment I could give the Transylvania program. Great hosts, gracious competitors tonight, and we're very appreciative of this win."
CARROLL 84, TRANSYLVANIA 74
CARROLL (16-9) — Molter 6-8 3-4 15; Kratz 4-10 5-6 15; Shepley 4-6 5-6 13; Hurd 4-8 3-4 12; Bast 2-6 5-6 11; Jones 3-3 2-2 11; Rumler 2-2 0-0 4; Zeegers 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 26-44 23-28 84.
TRANSYLVANIA (23-4) — Meyer 6-12 5-6 18; Cox 7-17 2-2 16; Spurlin 6-12 2-5 14; Hatfield 3-4 0-0 9; Rash 3-7 1-7 7; Botkin 2-3 2-2 7; Owens 1-3 0-0 3; Clevenger 0-1 0-0 0; Fudge 0-0 0-0 0; Stone 0-0 0-0 0; Beutttel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-60 12-22 74.
Halftime—Carroll 41-32. Three-point goals--Carroll 9-15 (Jones 3-3; Kratz 2-4; Bast 2-3; Hurd 1-3; Zeegers 1-1; Shepley 0-1); Transylvania 6-21 (Hatfield 3-4; Owens 1-3; Botkin 1-1; Meyer 1-5; Beutttel 0-1; Rash 0-1; Cox 0-6). Fouled out—Transylvania-Rash, Botkin. Rebounds—Carroll 32 (Kratz 8), Transylvania 32 (Spurlin 7). Assists--Carroll 11 (Molter 3), Transylvania 8 (Cox 4). Total fouls--Carroll 16, Transylvania 20. Technical fouls—none. A—1,089
No. 22 Wittenberg 63, No. 13 Birmingham Southern 56: Josh McKee shot 4-for-9 from three-point range and scored 18 points as the Tigers took the opening game.
Wittenberg is making its record 26th NCAA appearance.
McKee's three-pointer with 38 seconds left gave Wittenberg (22-6) a 34-31 halftime lead. The Tigers never trailed in the second half, but never led by more than nine.
Alex Brandt added 14 points for the winners. Clayton Black had 13 points and eight rebounds.
Blaise White shot 4-for-9 from three-point range and scored a1l of his 13 points in the first half for the Panthers (25-3). Zac Richards had 12 points and Jasen Jonus scored 11.
Wittenberg shot 21-for-39 (53.8 percent) from the field, while Southern went 18-for-51 (35.3 percent).