TU Advances to HCAC Tournament

by Abby Ferguson
Staff

Winter is coming to a close, which means tournament season is right around the corner. This weekend, the Transylvania men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament. Both teams are set to play the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Engineers in the first round.

After finishing the season with a 23-1 record, 17-1 in the Heartland Conference, the top-seeded Hanover College women will host the tournament. Hanover is the Heartland Conference champion for the first time since the 1996-1997 season and won 11 straight games to end its season.

Third-seeded Transy (18-7, 13-5 HCAC) will take on the sixth-seeded Engineers (10-15, 8-10 HCAC) at 8 p.m. on Friday after No. 5 Defiance College (12-13, 10-8 HCAC) plays No. 4 Manchester College (13-12, 11-7 HCAC).

The Pioneers realize they have a tough first-round meeting and hope to play their best basketball in the tournament.

“We are excited to start tournament play,” said head coach Greg Todd. “We feel that Rose-Hulman will be a tough first round game. We had two great conference games with them this year. As a team you always hope to peak and play your best basketball during the postseason.”

As for the games on Saturday, the winner of the game between Transy and Rose-Hulman will face Franklin College (19-6, 13-5 HCAC) at 5 p.m.

For the first time since the 1998-1999 season, Manchester men’s basketball team (19-6, 15-3 HCAC) won the regular-season title, which gave them the top seed and a chance to host the conference tournament. Along with Manchester, the No. 2 seed Hanover (18-6, 14-4 HCAC) received a first-round bye.

The Transy men (17-8, 11-7 HCAC) are gearing up for their match-up against Rose-Hulman (16-9, 10-8 HCAC) and are set to play their first game at 6 p.m. on Friday. The Pioneers are the No. 4 seed while the Engineers are the fifth-seeded team. Transy won seven of its last 10 games while Rose-Hulman dropped three of its last five.
Although the game is not at Transy, the men are ready and feel prepared to play the Engineers on Friday.

“Our guys know that the regular season is a grueling time,” said head coach Brian Lane. “When tourney time rolls around, it really has given us a boost of energy in the past. Most of our players have played on really good teams in high school and the tournament experience that they have gained is invaluable.”

Whoever wins the Transy-Rose Hulman game plays Manchester at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

For both the men and the women, the championship game will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m., with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship tournament. The men and women are in search of their first postseason appearance since 2009.

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