LEXINGTON, Ky.--Mount Union's men's basketball team (0-1) was defeated by Transylvania 74-66 in the season opener Friday night at Beck Center.
The Purple Raiders were led by senior Diallo Niamke (Sagamore Hills/Nordonia) who recorded 18 points on the day.
Transylvania (1-0) was led by Cooper Theobald who tallied 24 points and 11 rebounds.
The Pioneers opened with a quick 13-6 lead in the first 12 minutes of play. The Purple Raiders cut the Pioneer advantage to one off a three pointer from senior Tommy Stenger (North Canton/Hoover). Mount Union stuck close to Transylvania in the following minutes trading basket for basket. At the 4:06 mark, a tip-in and made free throw from freshman Collen Gurley (Akron/Hoban) saw the Purple Raiders claim the first lead of the night at 32-30. Mount Union controlled a four point margin heading into the intermission break at 40-36.
The Purple Raiders shot 16-of-35 (45.7%) from the floor in the half and 3-of-11 (27.3%) from distance while Transylvania was 12-of-25 (48%) but 4-of-8 (50%) from behind the arc.
Transylvania clawed away at the Purple Raider advantage to begin the second half. The Pioneers shrank the deficit to one with 9:32 remaining in regulation. A quick 7-0 run from Transylvania saw the game swing back in favor of the Pioneers at 58-53. Mount Union sliced the deficit to four with under seven minutes to play but the Pioneers sank key baskets the rest of regulation to collect the victory.
Mount Union shot just 10-of-30 (33%) and 1-of-12 (8.3%) from beyond the three point line in the second half. Transylvania went 9-24 (37.5%) and 2-4 (50%) from distance.
Next up, The Purple Raiders travel to face Bethany (W.Va.) on Tuesday, November 13. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.