CINCINNATI, OHIO -- The College of Mount St. Joseph relied on a fast start to the second half and eight made free throws in the final 1:27 to earn a 56-50 men's basketball win over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday.
Clifford Cass led Mount St. Joseph with 14 points. David Lane added 13 points, with Andy Countryman contributing 11 to the effort.
Sophomore Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) led the Rose-Hulman offensive effort with 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) also reached double figures with 10 points.
Other key contributors for Rose-Hulman included junior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) with eight points and six rebounds; junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) with seven points; and junior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) with five points.
The two teams battled to a 10-10 score after nine minutes and the margin never reached more than four points in the opening 20 minutes as Rose-Hulman took a 21-20 lead into the locker room.
Mount St. Joseph started the second half on a 16-4 run to take a 36-25 lead at the 13:51 mark. Rose-Hulman answered with six straight points to move within 36-31 on a three-pointer by sophomore Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St. Louis) with 10:15 remaining.
Mount St. Joseph pushed its lead to 11 points again at 48-37 with 3:20 left, before Rose-Hulman scored eight straight points to move within 48-45 with 1:27 remaining. Weatherford, Strickland and Gissentanner scored from the field, then Gerken capped the run with two free throws.
David Lane hit two key free throws to put the Lions ahead 50-45, then added two more with 40 seconds remaining to push the Mount St. Joseph lead to 52-45 and secure the victory.
Rose-Hulman stands 14-5 overall and 8-4 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, while Mount St. Joseph improved to 7-12 and 3-9 in league games. The Fightin' Engineers return to action with a home game on Wednesday against Anderson University.