This basketball season was a special one for every Transy fan. Very few schools have both men’s and women’s basketball teams with winning records and both teams reaching the conference championship game. Now that the sour taste has left our mouth since the season’s end, let’s look back on some of the great moments that made this basketball season one of the best in Transy’s history.
The Transylvania Women’s Basketball team finished with a dominating 27-3 record. They were 17-1 in conference play and never lost a game at home. The ladies won 90 percent of their games this season, and a large part of that was their ability to shoot it from downtown. They hit the most three-point field goals in the nation and were fourth in the nation in three-point percentage. Led by sharpshooting senior Celia Kline, the Transy Women won the HCAC tournament at the Beck Center after securing the number one overall seed in the conference. During the HCAC championship, Senior Kristen Hayes hit a layup to send the Pioneers to the National Tournament. The Pioneers’ postseason run ended in the Sweet 16 of the DIII National Tournament. They suffered an 89-74 loss to Thomas More. Thomas More would go on to win the Women’s National Championship.
The graduating senior class has now set the standard for years to come for this Pioneers, as their hard work off the court has changed the culture of Transy Women’s basketball. Next season, rising senior Shelby Boyle will take the reigns of the program and look to make another run at winning the National Championship.
The Transylvania Men’s Basketball team finished with a 17-10 record. After a hard fought game against the Kentucky Wildcats, losing 94-66, Transy had a rough start in non-conference play. They flipped the script once conference play started, finishing 13-5 in the HCAC in the regular season. Winning five of the last seven games, the Pioneers finished tied for the second seed going into the conference tournament at Hanover.
During the first game of the conference tournament against Franklin, Sophomore Michael Jefferson posted an unreal 32 points, six assists, and six rebounds to lead the Pioneers to an 89-77 victory. This set up a championship game between Transy and the Hanover College Panthers. During the championship game, the Pioneers were led by Sophomore forward Lucas Gentry, who posted 25 total points and hit three three-pointers. Transy also got scoring from Junior Gabe Schmitt and Michael Jefferson. In the end, Hanover defeated Transylvania 76-73 in the HCAC championship.
The Pioneers were led all season by Seniors Bo Schuh and Cooper Theobald. Coach Lane said that the Seniors “left the program in a better position than it was when they got here.” The Pioneers have nothing to hang their heads on, as the team will only be losing two players. The Transylvania men will have something to prove to the conference next year because they know they will be back bigger and stronger in the 2019-2020 season.
Both Men’s and Women’s programs will look to continue their successes on the court next year. With all of the firepower coming back for both squads next season, every Transy fan knows they will have something to look forward to come October.