TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Transylvania University placed four starters in double figures and defended a potential game tying final possession to pick up a 78-75 men's basketball victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday at Hulbert Arena.
Devin Twenty led four Pioneers in double figures with 17 points. Luke Schroeder and Cooper Theobald scored 12 points each, and Michael Jefferson contributed 10 points to the Transylvania win.
For Rose-Hulman, senior Nick McGrail led the offense with a career-high 22 points. McGrail finished 7-8 from the field and 3-3 from three-point range with a season-high seven rebounds.
Rose-Hulman held a 40-36 lead at the half after shooting 40% from the field and hitting 13-of-15 free throw attempts. McGrail hit a three-pointer with 2:53 left in the first half to push Rose-Hulman's lead to 38-28, before Transylvania closed the half on an 8-2 run.
In the second half, the teams battled within one possession for much of the first 10 minutes. Aimone hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Rose-Hulman a 59-55 lead at the 10:54 mark, but Transylvania scored eight straight points to gain a 63-59 lead.
Aimone hit another three-pointer, and a 4-0 run featuring a layup from McGrail and two free throws by Aoki gave Rose-Hulman the lead again at 67-64 with 6:07 left. A 7-0 run by the Pioneers put Transylvania back in front by four, and a three-pointer by Aoki cut the margin to 75-74 at the 1:04 mark.
Theobald answered with a jumper at the 35-second mark to give Transylvania a 3-point lead at 77-74. Aimone and Spencer McKinney of Transylvania exchanged free throws to give Rose-Hulman the ball with 10 seconds remaining and a 78-75 deficit. Solid defense by the Pioneers held Rose-Hulman without a shot on the final possession.
Transylvania improved to 4-4 and 2-1 in league play, while Rose-Hulman fell to 4-4 and 2-1. The Fightin' Engineers return to action with a non-conference home matchup with Boyce on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.