RICHMOND, IND. - Rose-Hulman retained the John Mutchner Cup for the fourth straight year with a balanced scoring attack and an 83-69 men's basketball win at Earlham on Wednesday.
Rose-Hulman placed five players in double figures in a balanced scoring attack. Sophomore Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) led the squad with 17 points and five assists, along with seven rebounds.
Sophomore Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) pitched in with 16 points. The Engineers improved to 6-1 overall and continued their best start since 2003-04 with the victory.
Junior Jason Haslag (Linn, Mo./Helias Interparrish) and freshman Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) each scored 15 points for the Engineers.
Sophomore Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Junior Blake Knotts (Louisville, Ky./Christian) also provided eight points to the balanced attack. Earlham placed four players in double figures, led by Colton Bragg with 14 points.
Rose-Hulman shot 58% from the field and 89% from the free throw line in a 47-point second half performance. The Engineers shot 52% from the field for the game.
Rose-Hulman led by as much as 16 points in the first half, before Earlham trimmed the margin to 36-30 at the half.
In the second half, the Engineers pushed the advantage to 12 points at 52-40, before Earlham clawed back to within five points at 59-54 with 9:55 left. Two free throws by Weatherford and six points from Strickland pushed the Rose-Hulman lead to 67-54 at the 7:38 mark.
Earlham closed to within nine points down the stretch, but two free throws each by Weatherford, Strickland and Knotts secured Rose-Hulman's final margin of victory.
Rose-Hulman improved to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in HCAC play, and travels to Transylvania University on Saturday. The Engineers also retained the John Mutchner Cup, named for the former Fightin' Engineer men's basketball coach and athletic director who was also a standout athlete at Earlham. He has been inducted to the Hall of Fame at both institutions. Earlham dropped to 1-6 and 0-3 in league play.