IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's basketball
team tied the best start to a season in program history with a
67-59 victory over Earlham College on Wednesday night.
Rose-Hulman improved to 11-1 on the season and 5-0 in Heartland
Collegiate Athletic Conference play to tie the 1977-78 squad for
the best start to a year in school history. The Fightin'
Engineers also moved into sole possession of first place in the
HCAC standings after Hanover topped previously unbeaten Mount St.
Senior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale
County) led four Rose-Hulman players in double figures
with 13 points. He also added five rebounds and tied for
team-high honors with five assists.
Junior Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St.
Louis) added a season-high 12 points on 5-7 from the
Senior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville,
Ohio/Arcanum) contributed 11 points and six rebounds, with
senior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) scoring
10 points with seven rebounds.
Other key contributors included senior Austin
Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) with eight points,
seven rebounds and four steals; freshman Jimmy Miller
(Indianapolis/North Central) with five points; and junior
Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) with five
Jack O'Flaherty led Earlham with 16 points, and Tyler Lewers
also reached double figures with 15 points for the Quakers.
Earlham shot 67% from three-point range in the first half to
take a 34-31 lead into the halftime locker room. The lead had
reached six points at 34-28, before a Gerken three-pointer brought
Rose-Hulman within three points at the break.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman regained the lead at 41-38 on a
6-0 run capped by two free throws from Balsbaugh. Earlham
fought back again to earn a 47-43 on a three-pointer by
O'Flaherty at the 11:46 mark.
Rose-Hulman's defense tightened to force a 53-53 tie at the 6:23
mark on a score by Dodd. The Engineers pushed the lead to
five points at 58-53, before Lewers scored again to bring Earlham
within 58-55 at the 4:05 mark.
Field goals by Dodd and Balsbaugh, along with three minutes of
scoreless defense from the Fightin' Engineers, pushed Rose-Hulman's
lead to 63-55 with 1:27 remaining. Earlham was unable to
close within less than six points in the final minute.
Rose-Hulman stands 11-1 and 5-0 in league play, while Earlham
dropped to 1-11. The Fightin' Engineers travel to Mount St.
Joseph on Saturday.