ATLANTA, GA. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on strong defense and a balanced scoring attack to defeat Oglethorpe University 68-50 in men's basketball action on Saturday night.
Rose-Hulman stands 2-0 for the first time since the 1992-93 season with the victory. The Fightin' Engineers also won the 999th game in program history.
Senior Blake Knotts (Louisville, Ky./Christian) paced four Engineers in double figures with 13 points. Knotts hit three shots from beyond the three-point line to pace the shooting effort.
Sophomore Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Junior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) also reached double figures with 10 points, and junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) contributed seven points. Alec Pitts led Oglethorpe with 18 points.
Strickland was named Most Valuable Player of the Oglethorpe Classic for his efforts over two games. Sophomore James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male) also earned a spot on the all-tournament team after a 23-point effort vs. Millsaps.
Rose-Hulman relied on a strong defensive effort by holding Oglethorpe to 29% shooting from the field in the contest. The Fightin' Engineers also shot 46% from the field and hit eight three-pointers in the victory.
Oglethorpe held a 9-7 lead seven minutes into the first half, before Rose-Hulman scored 10 straight points to take a 19-9 lead. Knotts capped the run with a three-pointer as the Fightin' Engineers held the Stormy Petrels without a point for over six minutes.
The run continued with eight more Rose-Hulman points, with Stickland ending the streak on a three-pointer. Rose-Hulman outscored Oglethorpe 20-3 over a nine-minute span of the first half to take control of the contest.
Oglethorpe trimmed the margin to eight points early in the second half, before one more Rose-Hulman rally put the game out of reach. The Engineers enjoyed a 13-2 run to take a 46-25 lead on a three-pointer by Gerken with 13:33 left.
Rose-Hulman stands 2-0 and will look for the program's 1,000th win on Tuesday night at Fontbonne University. Oglethorpe dropped to 1-2 on the campaign. The Fightin' Engineers host Wabash in the home opener on Nov. 30.