College Men’s Basketball Final – #23 Guilford 71, #24 Transylvania 67 (OT)‏

DANVILLE, Ky. – Rhett Bonner (Yadkinville, N.C./North Forsyth (Presbyterian)) scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in overtime to give Guilford College a 71-67 victory over Transylvania University Friday night in a first-round NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament contest.

The win sets up a second-round matchup with local-rival Averett University, a 76-71 winner over host Centre College in Friday’s first game in Alumni Gym. Guilford (22-5) won the regular-season meeting against its neighbor 50 miles to the north, 73-63, Nov. 25 in Danville, Va.

Bonner’s two free throws with 2:28 left in overtime gave Guilford the lead for good, 64-63. They also marked the game’s 13th and final tie and 13th and final lead change. Bonner made eight-of-nine shots from the line in overtime, including two with 8.8 seconds left that opened a 70-65 Quakers’ lead. Aaron Cash’s (Brodhead, Ky./Rockcastle Co.) layup with five seconds left brought the Pioneers (21-6) to within 70-67. Guilford’s Clay Henson (Glen Alpine, N.C./Freedom) iced the win by making one-of-two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining.

Transylvania forced extra time when senior Joey Vorax (Falmouth, Ky./Pendleton Co.) made two free throws with no time remaining in regulation. Guilford held a 58-56 lead with 0.7 seconds left in regulation when Cash looped an inbounds pass from right of his bench down to Vorax on the far low blocks. Vorax drew a foul as time expired. After a Quakers’ timeout, the senior sank both free throws to force the extra time.

Guilford’s Tyler Sanborn (Mount Airy, N.C./Elkin) posted his team-leading 16th double-double of the season with 19 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. He scored 12 of his points consecutively over a six-minute stretch of the second half. There were seven ties and four lead changes in the second half alone and no team led by more than six points. Neither team scored in the last two minutes of regulation before Vorax’s game-tying free throws.

Vorax led all scorers with 26 points (14 in the first half) and keyed Transylvania’s long-range attack with a game-high six three-pointers. The Pioneers made 14-of-40 three-point shots, including nine in the first half. Tim Tierney (Fort Wright, Ky./Covington Catholic) was Transylvania’s only other student in double-figure scoring with 11 points.

Senior George Neville (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) contributed 13 points and eight rebounds for Guilford, which held a 42-28 advantage on the glass. Henson scored 11 points and had five rebounds, while Bonner added six boards and four assists in a game-high 42 minutes. The Quakers made 18-of-23 free throws, including 11-of-15 in overtime.

Averett advanced to the second round earlier in the night with its first NCAA tournament win since 1990. The Cougars (21-8) had a 16-point second-half lead before the Colonels (21-5) rallied and took the lead with 2:05 remaining. Averett’s Kenny Hart answered with a three-pointer with 1:58 left to break the game’s final tie. Teammate Jonathan Rumley (Winston-Salem, N.C./Glenn) led Averett with 20 points, seven boards, four assists and two steals.


Newspaper Box Score
Guilford vs Transylvania
03/06/09 8:30 pm at Danville, KY – Alumni Gym
At Danville, KY – Alumni Gym
BONNER, Rhett 5-11 12-13 22; SANBORN, Tyler 9-15 1-3 19; NEVILLE, George
5-11 3-3 13; HENSON, Clay 4-10 1-2 11; ANDERSON, T.C. 1-2 0-0 3; STEPHENSON,
Martin 1-4 1-2 3; MONROE, Brad 0-0 0-0 0; STAFFORD, Justin 0-0 0-0 0;
STANLEY, Mat 0-0 0-0 0; HIGH, Eric 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 18-23 71.
Verax, Joey 7-18 6-6 26; Tierney, Tim 5-8 0-0 11; Cash, Aaron 3-10 0-0 8;
Owens, Chris 2-4 1-2 7; Parton, Matthew 2-10 0-0 6; Jones, Brock 2-5 0-0 5;
McCowan, Blake 1-6 2-3 4; Wise, Matt 0-0 0-0 0; Bauman, Scott 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 22-61 9-11 67.
Guilford…………………. 33 25 13 – 71
Transylvania……………… 32 26 9 – 67
3-point goals–Guilford 3-12 (HENSON, Clay 2-5; ANDERSON, T.C. 1-2;
STEPHENSON, Martin 0-1; BONNER, Rhett 0-4), Transylvania 14-40 (Verax, Joey
6-13; Owens, Chris 2-4; Parton, Matthew 2-10; Cash, Aaron 2-9; Jones, Brock
1-3; Tierney, Tim 1-1). Fouled out–Guilford-None, Transylvania-Tierney,
Tim. Rebounds–Guilford 42 (SANBORN, Tyler 15), Transylvania 28 (McCowan,
Blake 8). Assists–Guilford 11 (BONNER, Rhett 4), Transylvania 16 (Cash,
Aaron 4). Total fouls–Guilford 13, Transylvania 20. Technical
fouls–Guilford-None, Transylvania-None. A-639
NCAA Division III Tournament First Round
Guilford advances to play Averett University Saturday (3/7) at 7 pm at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

Dave Walters
Guilford College Athletics