Late Rally Falls Just Shy in Loss to Defiance



weatherford-dcTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Defiance College withstood a late Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to top the Fightin' Engineers 62-59 in men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

Defiance led 41-24 with 16:49 remaining after a 20-point first half by junior Logan Wolfrum.  Rose-Hulman answered with an 11-2 run to close within 43-35 on two free throws by sophomore Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St. Louis) at the 11:05 mark.

Defiance pushed the lead to 47-37 on a score by Travis Schomaeker, then Rose-Hulman continued its charge to move within 49-46 on two free throws by junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) at the 3:26 mark.

Defiance guard Anthony Brown and Rose-Hulman junior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Fa./Rockdale County) exchanged three-pointers as the Yellow Jackets held the lead at 52-49 with 2:56 remaining.  Another exchange of baskets by Wolfrum and Gissentanner put the score at 54-51 at the 1:53 mark.

Wolfrum added one free throw and Mason Roth hit two more with 31 seconds remaining to push Defiance's lead to 58-52.  Junior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) scored in the paint to again bring Rose-Hulman within 58-54.

Roth hit two more free throws, and Gerken scored in the paint with 11 seconds left to make the score 60-56.  Following a missed free throw, sophomore Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) brought Rose-Hulman within one point at 60-59 with 1.3 seconds left.

Ryan Hicks hit two free throws in the final second to secure the victory for Defiance, as Rose-Hulman's last second desperation pass fell short.

Wolfum led the Defiance offense with 28 points.  Roth and Brown scored 12 points each for the Yellow Jackets.

Weatherford scored 17 points to lead Rose-Hulman scorers.  Gissentanner reached double figures with 11 points, Gerken scored nine, and the duo of Strickland and Dodd added six points each.

Defiance improved to 11-12 and moved into a tie for the sixth and final HCAC Tournament spot at 7-9 in league.  Rose-Hulman stands 15-8 and 9-7 in league play.  The Fightin' Engineers need one victory in their final two games to clinch a bid to the HCAC Tournament.