March 6, 2009

Courtesy of Transylvania Athletics

DANVILLE, Ky. - Guilford's Tyler Sanborn scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Friday and Rhett Bonner added 22 points to lead the Quakers to a 71-67 win over Transylvania in NCAA Division III tourney play at Centre College.

Playing in their third NCAA tourney in four years, the Pioneers finish their season at  21-6. Guilford (22-5), a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, made the field as an at-large team after losing in the first round of its conference tournament. Transy won the Heartland Conference tournament, was the regular season co-champ, and brought a five-game win streak into the contest.

Averett defeated host Centre 76-71 in the regional opener Friday and will play Guilford Saturday at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to next weekend's NCAA quarterfinal round at a campus location to be announced Monday.

The Division III Final Four will be played March 20-21 at Salem, Va.

Senior forward Joey Verax (Falmouth, Ky./Pendleton County High School) hit a pair of free throws with no time left on the clock to tie the game at 58-58 and send it to overtime. After Guilford took a three-point lead early in the extra period, Matthew Parton tied it at 61-all at the 3:52 mark.

Verax, who finished with a game-high 26 points, hit two free throws to put the Pioneers up by two, 63-61, but three free throws by Bonner gave Guilford the lead for good. Bonner finished the game with 12 free throws in 13 attempts to go with six rebounds and four assists.

Tim Tierney had 11 points for the Pioneers before fouling out and added eight point and four assists. Guilford outshot the Pioneers 47 percent to 36 percent and had a 42-28 edge on the boards. Transy attempted 40 three-point baskets and hit 14 for 35 percent. Guilford was three of 12 from long range.

Guilford also had an 18-9 edge in free throws.

Winners of 13 of their last 14 games, the Pioneers and Quakers played a tight first half with neither team able to gain more than a six-point lead. Guilford led by one, 33-32, at intermission. Verax had 14 points and three rebounds to lead Transy and freshman Chris Owens came  off the bench to pop in seven.

Bonner had 10 points to lead Guilford, which shot 59 percent (13 of 22) from the field to 40.7 percent for the Pioneers. But Transy was nine of 20 from three-point range while the Quakers were just two of four. Sanborn grabbed eight rebounds in the first half for Guilford.

There were five ties in the first 10 minutes of the second half as no more than three points separated the two teams.

Verax moved into 23rd place on the all-time Transy men's scoring list, passing his coach, Brian Lane, with 1,301 points.