TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology matched the best 19-game start to a season in men's basketball school history with a 60-39 win over Mount St. Joseph on Saturday at Hulbert Arena.
The Fightin' Engineers improved to 17-2 on the season and retain a one-game lead in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings at 11-1 in league play.
Senior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) led a balanced scoring attack with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists. Junior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) also reached double figures with 14 points.
Senior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) scored eight points, and senior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) pitched in with seven points and four rebounds.
Ken Kunkel led the Mount St. Joseph offense with 13 points. The Fightin' Engineers held the Lions to just 29% from the field and outrebounded Mount St. Joseph 35-24 in the victory.
Defensively, Rose-Hulman also held its 10th opponent to 45 points or less and its sixth opponent to 40 points or less in a game.
Rose-Hulman jumped out to an 11-6 lead after a three-pointer by junior James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male), a layup from Gerken and a free throw by Gissentanner. Mount St. Joseph rallied to tie the score at 13-13 on a three-pointer by Andy Countryman at the 10:51 mark.
Rose-Hulman's defense then stepped up, holding Mount St. Joseph to three points over the next eight minutes as part of an 18-3 run. Gissentanner capped the rally with a three-pointer at the 2:36 mark, helping the Engineers gain a 33-20 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman continued its solid team play to push the lead to 19 points at 49-30 on a three-point play by Strickland with 10:28 left. The lead reached as high as 23 points as the Engineers controlled the margin for the rest of the game.
Rose-Hulman returns to action at Anderson on Wednesday night. Mount St. Joseph stands 6-13 overall and 5-7 in league play.
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