Balanced Scoring Leads Rose-Hulman Past Defiance

GerkenWabash1BOX SCORE

DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology scored its most points in a men's basketball conference game since 2006 in an 87-70 victory at Defiance College on Saturday.

The Fightin' Engineers scored the most points in league play during the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference era and the most in a conference matchup since earning a 90-66 victory over Rhodes in 2005-06.

Sophomore Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) led five players in double figures with a career-high 21 points.  Junior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) added a season-high 16 points.

Other players in double figures included junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) with a season-high 11 points; sophomore James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male) with 11 points; and senior Jason Haslag (Linn, Mo./Helias Interparrish) with a season-high 10 points.

Logan Wolfrum led all scorers with 31 of the 70 points for Defiance.  Jeff Hugan came off the bench for 14 points and Mason Roth added 13 for the Yellow Jackets.

Rose-Hulman shot 45% from the field and buried 21 of 31 free throws attempts to secure their fifth victory in six outings and open the HCAC season with a victory.  The Engineers also outrebounded Defiance 46-33 and committed just five turnovers on offense.

Other key contributors for the Engineers included junior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) with eight points, eight rebounds and three assists; junior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) with six points and five rebounds; and sophomore Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St. Louis) with four points.

Rose-Hulman relied on 12 straight points in the first half to turn a 12-9 lead into a 24-9 edge at the 8:06 mark.  Gerken scored four points, Gissentanner and Pillischafske added three-point shots, and Strickland capped the run with a layup.

Defiance trimmed the margin to 10 points twice in the first half, but Rose-Hulman opened the first half on a 6-2 run to gain a 49-31 lead on Pillischafske's trey at the 18:04 mark.

Defiance rallied to within five points at 51-46, before Rose-Hulman had another 9-2 run to push the lead to 60-48 on a score by Weatherford at the 11:48 mark.  Defiance could not close within closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Rose-Hulman improved to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, while Defiance dropped to 2-4 and 0-2 in conference games.  The Fightin' Engineers host Manchester in HCAC action on Wednesday night.