TERRE HAUTE, IND. - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology continued its best start to a season in more than a decade with a 64-49 men's basketball victory over Fontbonne University on Tuesday.
Rose-Hulman improved to 7-2 overall to mark the team's best start since the 1998-99 campaign that resulted in a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Freshman Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) led the Engineers with 14 points, three blocks and three steals.
Sophomore Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) poured in 11 points with eight rebounds, and sophomore Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) added his third double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Junior Blake Knotts (Louisville, Ky./Christian) and sophomore Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./ Rockdale County) each contributed nine points to the effort.
Rose-Hulman trailed 10-2 early in the first half, before enjoying a 21-5 run to gain a 23-15 lead on a score by sophomore Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) with 4:09 left in the half.
The Rose-Hulman lead reached 10 points at the break with a 30-20 margin. The Engineers started the second half on a 10-4 spurt to push the lead to 40-24 on a three-pointer by Knotts at the 14:28 mark.
Rose-Hulman's lead reached as high as 22 points, before Fontbonne closed to within the final 15-point margin on two occasions.
Rose-Hulman improved to 7-2 on the season, while Fontbonne stands 2-7. The Engineers host Robert Morris-Springfield on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.