Thursday, November 20, 2014

Centre College Squeaks Past Transylvania in Rivalry Battle

Centre College 74
Transylvania University 72

Final from Danville, Kentucky

Game recap by CC:

The Centre men's basketball team held on for a 74-72 win over rival Transylvania in front of a packed house in its home opener Wednesday in Danville, Ky.

Blake Scinta (Louisville, Ky.) scored a game-high 25 points while Tyler Wesley (Crestwood, Ky.) added 14 points with a game-high 10 rebounds for the Colonels. Sam Sergeant scored 18 in a losing effort for Transylvania, all of them coming in the last 7:06 of the game to fuel a Pioneers comeback attempt.

Centre led by as many as 16 points on two occasions and appeared to have the game well in hand after a pair of Josh Karsner (Frankfort, Ky.) free throws put the Colonels up 63-47 with 7:16 to play. It was that point when Sergeant got hot, scoring all 18 of his points in six minutes to spark a 20-6 Pioneers run that cut the margin to 69-67 with 3:02 remaining.

After calling a time out, Centre was able to regroup and stay in front after Andrew Steggeman (New Albany, Ind.) made a steal and buried a 3-pointer on the other end. On the ensuing Transylvania possession, Matt Gump (Bellefontaine, Ohio) came up with another steal and sank a free throw to give the Colonels some breathing room at 73-67 with 1:17 left.

Transylvania came up with a steal on the Colonels' next possession, but Centre choose to send them to the line with eight seconds left, where a pair of Tommy Sirkin free throws could only cut the margin to 73-72. Mike Geegan (Bowling Green, Ky.) made a free throw for Centre with six seconds left, and a long 3-point attempt by Sergeant came up short at the buzzer.

It was a game that featured little drama until the late comeback attempt, with four ties and two lead changes, all early in the first half. With the teams tied at 22, Centre surged ahead with a 17-6 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by both Steggeman and Geegan. Though Transylvania cut the lead to 39-32 by the half, Centre remained in command until the final minutes.

Centre shot 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the field and 39.1 percent (9-of-23) from 3-point range, while Transylvania was 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field and 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from outside. The Pioneers held a 34-33 rebounding advantage.

The win is the third straight for the Colonels in the series with Transylvania, and Centre moves to 2-0 on the season while the Pioneers open at 0-1. The Colonels, who are on a 28-game home winning streak, are at home again on Saturday when they host Franklin at 7 p.m.

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