TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on a strong defensive performance to earn a 54-42 men's basketball victory over Mount St. Joseph on Saturday.
With the win, Rose-Hulman moved into a first-place tie in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings at 5-1 in league play. The Fightin' Engineers improved to 11-2 overall.
Sophomore James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male) led the Fightin' Engineers with 12 points, including a perfect 4-4 on three-point shots. Senior Blake Knotts (Louisville, Ky./Male) came off the bench with nine points.
Other key contributors for the Engineers included sophomore Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St. Louis) with seven points and three rebounds; junior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) with seven points, two rebounds and two assists; and junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) with five points.
VJ Evans led Mount St. Joseph with a game-high 14 points, and Clifford Cass reached double figures with 10 points for the Lions.
Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 32-14 lead at halftime by holding Mount St. Joseph to just 27% from the field and 1-7 from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes. Rose-Hulman held Mount St. Joseph to just three points over a nine-minute span of the first half to turn a 13-9 lead into a 29-12 edge.
In the second half, Mount St. Joseph trimmed the deficit to 13 points on three occasions, before a late three-pointer by Cass brought the margin to 12. Two three-pointers by Pillischafske helped the Engineers withstand Mount St. Joseph rallies.
Rose-Hulman travels to Anderson in another league matchup on Wednesday at 7:30. Mount St. Joseph stands 6-7 overall and 2-4 in league contests.