EUREKA, ILL. - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 2-1 on the men's basketball season with a 54-46 victory over Eureka College on Tuesday night.
Two Rose-Hulman players came off the bench to reach double figures in scoring to pace the offensive effort. Sophomore Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) scored 12 points with five rebounds, and freshman Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) contributed 11 points and five rebounds for the Engineers.
Other key contrubutors for Rose-Hulman included sophomores Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./ Rockdale County) and sophomore Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) with eight points each. Gissentanner finished 3-6 from the field with five rebounds and three steals, and Weatherford had a pair of assists.
Junior Spencer Harlan (Terre Haute/South) and junior Blake Knotts (Louisville, Ky./Christian) had five points each.
Two Eureka players combined for 30 of the 46 Red Devils points. Andy Leppard had a game-high 16 points, and Jordan Kindred added 14.
Rose-Hulman held Eureka to just 34% from the field, recorded a 37-33 rebounding advantage and committed just 11 turnovers to win a tightly contested matchup.
Eureka led for the entire first half, pushing its lead to 23-18 at halftime. The Red Devils advantage reached double figures at 37-27 with 11:34 left on a three-pointer by Leppard.
Rose-Hulman answered with a 14-0 run over the next five minutes to gain a 41-37 advantage. Strickland scored 11 of Rose-Hulman's 14 points in the run, which also included a layup by Gerken and a free throw by freshman James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male).
Eureka regained the lead at 44-41, before scores by Gerken and Gissentanner gave Rose-Hulman the edge for good at 45-44 with 2:47 left. Weatherford added four points, Gissentanner buried a three-pointer and Gerken hit two free throws down the stretch, while the Engineer defense held the hosts to just two points in the last three minutes.
Rose-Hulman stands 2-1 on the season, while Eureka stands 0-3. The Fightin' Engineers welcome Millikin University to Hulbert Arena for the home opener on Sunday at 7 p.m.