Manchester slips past Transy, 59-57

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a tight back-and-forth contest, Manchester scored last and held on to upset Transylvania 59-57 Saturday in men's Heartland Conference basketball action at the Beck Center.

Transy slips to 4-3, 2-1 HCAC, while Manchester is 4-5, 1-2 in conference play.

Transy led 57-55 on a pair of Brandon Rash free throws with 3:09 to play. Manchester recaptured the advantage 58-57 on a three by John Thompson with 1:52 to play.

In a game that saw 19 lead changes and four ties, Manchester would be the only team to score again, getting one of two free throws from Greg Flores with five seconds to play. The Pioneers misfired on their final seven shots over the last three minutes of action.

Rash led the Pioneers with 20 points, 16 in the second half, to go with six rebounds and two assists. He was eight of nine from the field. Ethan Spurlin added 16 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

Transy senior Barrett Meyer entered the game nine points away from 1,000 for his career as a Pioneer. He scored eight points to move to 999 as he seeks to join teammate Rash (1,077), who reached the milestone earlier this season.

Manchester used an 8-0 spurt to end the half to take a 23-20 lead at intermission. The Pioneers were eight of 24 in the first half from the field, including two of 11 from behind the arc, while Manchester connected on eight of 20. The Spartans connected on three of 11 triples.

Spurlin had 10 points to lead Transy in the first half to go with four rebounds. Grant Newlin led Manchester with six early points, a total matched by Caleb Jackson.

Transy outscored the Spartans 12-4 in the paint, but that was offset by Manchester's 12-0 edge in bench scoring in the first half. For the game, Transy had a 28-6 edge in the paint and Manchester's reserves held a 28-7 scoring advantage.

For the game, Transy was 21 of 51 for 41 percent from the field, including six of 21 from long range. Manchester, which was led by Flores, Newlin, and Silas Sims, who all had 12 points, finished with 19 of 40 accuracy for 48 percent.

The Spartans were 12 of 23 from behind the arc, including nine of 12 in the second half.

Transy will now take a week off for final exams before returning to the court next Saturday with a 4 p.m. contest at Bluffton.