WOOSTER, Ohio – Transylvania ran into a hot-shooting Wooster club Friday and the second-ranked Scots knocked off the Pioneers 92-66 in opening round action of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championships.
Transy, in the NCAA tourney for the second straight year, finished its season with a 19-9 record whileWooster, champs of the North Coast Athletic Conference, is now 26-3 and winners of eight straight games.
The Scots avenged a 91-88 loss to the Pioneers in second round action in Lexington last year.
The Scots, averaging over 89 points a game, are on a seven-game winning streak while the Pioneers saw a five-game winning streak come to an end.
Wooster moves on to faces Centre, a 69-55 winner over Capital, in second round action Saturday at 7 p.m. Sectional play is set for March 9-10 at campus sites to be determined. Transy advanced to the quarterfinal round before losing to eventual national runnerup Wittenberg last year.
The Scots came into the contest averaging 89 points a game and laid 48 on the Pioneers in the opening half to seize control.
Transy led by four in the early going of the first half before the Scots got rolling. Wooster shot 60 percent (18 of 30) in the first half, which ended with the home team holding a 48-27 advantage.
Transy shot jut 32 percent and trailed by as many as 22 points, 45-23, in the first half. Port, the NCAC Player of the Year, had 13 points in the opening period and guard James Cooper added 14.
Joey Searle, Gary Mouser, and Stephen Gabbard each scored six first half points to lead the Pioneers.
Wooster continued its hot shooting in the second half and increased its lead to 34, 63-29, with 15:33 to play. The Scots finished the night shooting 59 percent (34 of 57) while the Pioneers were at 41.1 percent (23 of 56). Wooster also hit nine of 16 from three-point range while Trans was seven of 22.
Searle came into the contest with 1,061 career points, 34th on the all-time Transy list and 26 behind No. 33 Aaron Greenfield. He led the Pioneers with 20 points, hitting seven of 11 from the field to finish his career with 1,081 points.
Feagan finished with 11 points and six rebounds to conclude his career with 952 points. Joey Verax came off the bench to score 12 points.
Cooper finished with 21 points for Wooster while Port had 19 and Brandon Johnson 17 points and six rebounds.