Last Second Shot Lifts Men's Basketball Past Hanover


gerken-dcTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) scored under the basket with 0.7 seconds remaining to lift the Fightin' Engineer men's basketball team past Hanover College 62-61 in men's basketball action on Saturday.

Hanover held a 61-60 lead with 4.4 seconds remaining after a pass deflected out of bounds went to Rose-Hulman in front of the Engineer bench.  Senior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) tossed an inbounds pass to Gerken, who muscled his way up in a lane full of defenders for the game winning shot.

With the victory, Rose-Hulman moves to 9-1 on the season and 4-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Fightin' Engineers are tied with Mount St. Joseph for top honors in the HCAC at 4-0 in league play.

Rose-Hulman battled back from an 11-point second half deficit to earn its seventh straight win and its sixth consecutive victory in games at Hulbert Arena.  Senior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) led the offensive effort with 16 points and four assists.

Junior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) added 12 points and seven assists, with freshman Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) coming off the bench with 10 points.

Gerken contributed nine points and seven rebounds, with senior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) adding six points and eight rebounds to the effort.

Tim Bass paced the Hanover offense with 16 points on 6-9 from the field.  Ryan Nowicki added 15 points for the Panthers.

Hanover controlled much of the first half and led 13-2 at the 8:35 mark.  The Engineers rallied to close within 26-22 at the 3:48 mark on a three-pointer by junior James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male).  Hanover regained a nine-point lead at 31-22 at the break.

In the second half, the Panther lead reached 11 points at 42-31 on a basket by Nowicki with 15:03 remaining.  Rose-Hulman answered with an 11-0 run to knot the score at 42-42 on a three-pointer by Weatherford at the 12:08 mark.  The score was knotted again at 47, 49, 51, 53 and 55 as the two teams battled back and forth throughout the final 20 minutes.

Hanover built a six-point lead again at 61-55 with 2:26 remaining.  Rose-Hulman then had a frantic possession, featuring a loose ball offensive rebound by Gerken, that ended with a Gerken three-pointer at the 1:11 mark to bring the Engineers within 61-58.

Gerken was then fouled after a steal with 39 seconds left, setting the stage for Rose-Hulman to move within 61-60 on a score in the paint by Strickland with 11 seconds remaining.  The Engineers then forced a turnover on the Hanover inbounds pass to set the stage for its final possession.

Hanover stands 5-3 and 2-2 in league games.  The Fightin' Engineers host DePauw on Monday at Hulbert Arena.