The third-ranked Pioneers will play in the
NCAA Division III sectional semifinal on Friday
IVAN K. RICE I firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, KY – The Transylvania women’s basketball team is having a remarkable year after rolling through the regular season undefeated, en route to their fourth straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, while claiming the HCAC automatic bid to the 2022 NCAA Division III Women’s National Basketball Championship Tournament.
Following their wins in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, Coach Juli Fulks’ team, 26-0, will now host University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (24-4) in the sectional semifinal (Sweet 16) this Friday at 6:30 PM inside the Clive M. Beck Center. Hardin-Baylor, ranked 21st nationally, is a Christian University in Belton, Texas.
A familiar player on the Pioneers basketball team is former Bourbon County Lady Colonel standout Mclain Murphy, who had a stellar high school career playing for Coach Bill Watson and the Lady Colonels. Murphy, a 2-time All-Region selection, finished her career scoring 1,138 points and pulled down 651 rebounds.
“Mclain was set on playing collegiately,” Coach Watson shared through a text message. “She put in the work, especially during the summer and fall, to help her reach her dream. Transy was where she wanted to play and the success they have had has been fun to watch. With her skill set, she will continue to help them in the future.”
Murphy has appeared in 18 games so far this season as a freshman, scoring a season best 5 points against Piedmont, while pulling down 5 rebounds in a win over Eastern Nazarene. She played a season-high 12 minutes against Capital University.
“We are excited to have Mclain at Transy. She brings many great attributes to the team,” said Coach Fulks, who was recently named the HCAC Coach of the Year for the third time while at Transylvania. “Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and as a freshman, has contributed in 18 games this year.”
The Pioneers, ranked third in the final regular season D3hoops.com women’s Top 25, opened NCAA play with a 69-52 victory over the Washington and Jefferson College Presidents at the Beck Center last Friday evening. Former Harrison County star guard Madison Kellione led the way with 20 points.
Transylvania advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Women’s Division III Tournament after eliminating the Southern Virginia Knights 77-55 the very next day at the Beck Center.
When asked about her freshman year at Transy and the team’s success this season, Murphy, who was recently named to the Transylvania University dean’s list, had this to say.
“Being a part of this team is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. At the beginning of the season, we traveled to Montreal and Boston. Although these trips were very fun, they also ultimately prepared us for our toughest opponents. Apart from that, the competitive drive, support, and chemistry amongst our team and coaches are the biggest reasons we have earned such success.”
The winner of the Transy/Mary Hardin-Baylor game will face the winner of fourth-ranked Trine University (26-3) and 27th ranked Springfield College (24-4) on Saturday in the Beck Center, where the two teams will meet for a chance to earn a bid to the NCAA Division III final four.
“This season has been a great start to my time at Transy, but with the knowledge of this year’s success comes very high standards for the future,” Murphy said. “I’m looking forward to the next three seasons as a Pio!”