TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 10-1 on the men's basketball season with a 52-39 victory over in-state rival DePauw University on Monday night.
Junior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) led the Rose-Hulman offense with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Senior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) also reached double figures with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Other key contributors for Rose-Hulman included junior James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male) with six points on two three-pointers; senior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) with five points; and senior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenvile. Ohio/Arcanum) with four points and five offensive rebounds.
Rose-Hulman held its sixth opponent to under 45 points in a game this season in the victory. The Fightin' Engineers entered the game ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense and helped its cause by holding the visiting Tigers to 39 points on 39% shooting from the field. Barry Flynn led the DePauw offense with 11 points.
The Fightin' Engineers also stand 10-1 for the first time since the 1990-91 season after the win.
Rose-Hulman shot 44% from the field in the first half to earn a 28-19 halftime advantage. DePauw scored the game's first five points, but Rose-Hulman answered with a 24-8 run to earn a 24-13 lead on back-to-back three-pointers by Weatherford and Pillischafske.
The lead stayed at nine at the break after Rose-Hulman held DePauw to just one field goal in the last five minutes of the first half.
In the second stanza, Rose-Hulman quickly jumped out to a 33-19 lead on a three-pointer by Weatherford and a layup by Strickland at the 18:58 mark. DePauw trimmed the margin to 11 points at 31-22, but Rose-Hulman again stepped up its defense with a 9-2 run over the next six minutes, earning a 42-24 edge on two free throws by Strickland at the 11:06 mark.
Rose-Hulman improved to 10-1 on the season and returns to action on Jan. 2 against Earlham College. The Fightin' Engineers enter the Holiday break tied for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings with Mount St. Joseph at 4-0 in league play. DePauw stands 4-4 overall.