CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Mount St. Joseph University men's basketball team welcomed the Pioneers of Transylvania University into the Harrington Center for a key Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday. Transy came into the game tied atop the HCAC standings with a 5-1 record in league play. The Lions, led by freshman Brady Thomas (Grove City, Ohio/Bishop Ready) and Devin Young (Crestwood, Ky./South Oldham), defeated the Pioneers in 65-62 in a game that came down to the final possession.
The Lions jumped out to a quick lead as Thomas drilled three-pointers on back-to-back possessions during the early going. The teams exchanged leads over the next few minutes, Transy then went on a 12-1 run to extend their lead to a game-high 7 with 7:09 to go in the first half. The Lions then clamped down on defense holding Transy to just one made field goal over the final 7:09 of the first half. The Mount closed the half on a 13-3 run to carry a 27-24 lead into intermission.
The Mount was led in the first half by Young who scored 10 of his 17 points in the first 20 minutes. Shaun Sullivan (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) gave the Lions a lift off the bench in the first half scoring seven points in just nine minutes of action.
In the second half the Lions held the lead almost the entire way. Transy came back to tie the game at 58 with 1:36 to go. Jake Cropper (Georgetown, Ohio/Georgetown) buried a pair of free-throws to put the Lions back ahead. Transy answered to tie the game again at 60 on a Michael Jefferson layup with 46 seconds to go. Young then made the biggest shot of his young MSJ career, late in the shot clock he drilled a step-back three pointer to put the Lions ahead for good. Transy answered with another Jefferson layup, before Cropper nailed another pair of high-pressure free throws. Transy got the ball back with 13 seconds to play, after a timeout they put up a pair of three-point attempts which each rimmed out.
Three Lions scored in double-figures in the game Thomas led the way with a career-high 21, Young added 17, and Cropper pitched in 13. The Lions again outrebounded a much bigger team, outrebounding the Pioneers 33-31. Young was the leading rebounder with 7, Cropper and Sullivan each had 5, and Tanner Clos (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) had 4.
The Lions (5-9, 3-4 HCAC) will welcome the Yellow Jackets of Defiance College (2-12, 0-7 HCAC) to the Harrington Center on Saturday, looking to extend their winning streak to a season-high three games. Prior to Saturday's action there will be an Alumni game which will begin at 11:00 AM. The real game gets underway at 2:00 PM, tune into MSJsports.com for all of your live game coverage.