LEXINGTON, KY. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology advanced
to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament for the first
time since 1999 with a 76-73 overtime victory over No. 16 ranked
Transylvania University on Sunday.
Rose-Hulman will learn its NCAA Tournament destination on Monday
at noon when the bracket selection show is broadcast on
Rose-Hulman led 71-68 with 12 seconds remaining in regulation,
before a missed free throw gave Transylvania a chance to extend the
game. Ashley Hatfield buried a 28-foot three-pointer with
five seconds left to knot the score at 71-71.
Following a Rose-Hulman turnover, Transylvania had one last
possession with 2.2 seconds remaining. Ethan Spurlin missed a
well-defended 18-foot jumper at the buzzer to move the game into
In the overtime, Transylvania took a 73-71 on two free throws,
before sophomore Julian Strickland
(Indianapolis/Pike) tied the score at 73-73 with two
free throws of his own at the 1:58 mark. Junior
Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) put
Rose-Hulman ahead for good at 75-73 with a drive down the lane with
Hatfield missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer for
Transylvania with 48 seconds left, and the Engineers missed a
potential game clinching shot on their next possession.
Sophomore Jordy Martin (New Albany) was fouled on
the play and hit one of two free throws to give Rose-Hulman a 76-73
Transylvania had one more chance to force an overtime with 3.7
seconds left. Rash tried a 29-foot shot from straight on at
the buzzer that fell short, and the Rose-Hulman bench erupted with
its first conference tournament championship since 1998.
Strickland was named tournament Most Valuable Player after
scoring 30 points on 10-16 from the field and 5-5 from three-point
range. He became the first Fightin' Engineer to score 30
points in a game since Ron George accomplished the feat in
Weatherford joined Strickland on the all-tournament team after
scoring 15 points with seven rebounds and four assists.
Junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) pitched
in with a season-high 17 points and six rebounds to balance the
Barrett Meyer scored 23 points, including 21 in the first
half, to help Transylvania build a 37-29 lead at the
break. Rash scored 16 points with eight rebounds, and Spurlin
added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Transylvania.
Rose-Hulman shot 56% from the field for the game, including 65%
during the second half to force the game into overtime. The
big rally occurred out of the locker room to start the second half,
when Rose-Hulman scored 16 points in 3:17 to turn an eight-point
halftime deficit into a 45-41 lead on a three-pointer by
The Engineers built a pair of four-point leads in the second
half, on scores by Gerken and two free throws by Strickland.
Transylvania answered to regain the lead at 63-61 on a score by
Spurlin at the 3:58 mark.
Strickland answered with a three-pointer to put Rose-Hulman
ahead 64-63 with 2:45 left. A three-pointer by Weatherford
and two free throws by Martin gave the Engineers a four-point lead
Chris Owens answered with a three-pointer to bring Transylvania
to within 69-68 at the 1:00 mark. Gerken scored again with 26
seconds left to set the stage for the final plays of
Rose-Hulman improved to 20-8 on the season and has recorded its
first 20-win campaign since 1999 and the fourth in school
history. Transylvania stands 23-4 and is likely to
receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament when
the brackets are released on Monday. The Pioneers are ranked
No. 16 nationally.