FRANKLIN, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 14-2 overall and kept its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference lead at 8-1 with a 58-42 men's basketball victory at Franklin College on Wednesday night.
Senior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) paced the Fightin' Engineer offense with 20 points. Junior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) also reached double figures with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The remainder of the starting lineup contributed to the balanced Rose-Hulman scoring attack. Senior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) scored eight points with six rebounds; senior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) had six points and six rebounds; and senior James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male) added five points.
Troy Porter and Terry Sargent led the Franklin offense with 10 points each. Rose-Hulman held the Grizzlies to 33% from the field and 33% from three-point range to hold its ninth opponent to 45 points or less this season.
The Fightin' Engineers shot 45% from the field and built a 23-13 lead at the half. In the second half, Rose-Hulman built a 16-point lead at 31-15 on a layup by Balsbaugh at the 16:18 mark.
Franklin trimmed the margin to seven points at 44-37 on a basket by Porter at the 5:27 mark. The Fightin' Engineers held Franklin to one field goal for the remainder of the game and Strickland scored seven late points to secure the win.
Rose-Hulman improved to 14-2 on the season and 8-1 in HCAC play. The Fightin' Engineers retain a one-game lead over Transylvania (7-2) and Hanover (7-2) in the battle atop the league standings, while Franklin stands 10-6 and 5-4 in conference games. Rose-Hulman hosts Bluffton on Saturday at 3 p.m.