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Women’s basketball has winning season

Sporting a lineup dominated by first-year players, the women’s basketball team put together a winning season at 14-13 and finished fourth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season race with an 11-7 record.

“Considering we had nine first-year players on the roster, including four who started, I thought we had a pretty successful year,” said head coach Greg Todd. “It was a transition year, but we got valuable playing experience. We were an aggressive, physical group, and we rebounded well.”

Transylvania won its first game in the inaugural Pat Deacon-Hilliard Lyons Invitational at the Beck Center in mid-December with a 78-66 decision over St. Mary of the Woods College before falling to Kenyon College in its second game. Deacon was a coach, administrator, and teacher at Transylvania for 29 years before retiring in 1999. She was head coach of women’s basketball for 16 seasons, compiling a 175-146 record from 1971-87.

In early January, the team’s record was 4-8, but the Pioneers pulled together for a 6-1 streak that helped secure fourth place in the HCAC and a spot in the conference tournament. After defeating Defiance College in the quarterfinals, Transylvania lost in the semifinals to eventual tourney champion Franklin College. 

Transylvania’s exceptionally strong first-year class won several top honors in the HCAC. Guard Nicole Coffman was named Freshman Player of the Year and was one of three Pioneers selected for the All-Freshman team. She led Transylvania in scoring with a 14.6 average and in free-throw accuracy at 81 percent, and was third leading rebounder with 4.1 per game. She was also named to the 12-person All-HCAC team.

Coffman was joined on the All-Freshman team by guard Jariana Gillespie and forward Alex McKenzie. Gillespie was Transylvania’s second leading scorer at 11.2 points per game, while McKenzie led the team in rebounding with 7.1 per contest and was third in scoring at 11 points per game.

“For one team to have three of the five spots on the All-Freshman team in a 10-team league is very rare,” Todd said. “It says a lot about the quality of this class.”

Visit the women's basketball website for more information.

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