NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action with a 70-52 win at Manchester University on Wednesday night.
Junior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) led three Fightin' Engineers in double figures with 19 points. Senior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) added 18 points and five assists. Both players tied for team-high honors with four steals.
Senior Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum) pitched in with 12 points on 5-6 from the field and seven rebounds. Senior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora) scored seven points with 10 rebounds, and senior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) also had seven points.
Rose-Hulman turned a 25-25 halftime tie into an 18-point victory with a 45-point outburst in the second half. The Fightin' Engineers shot 61% from the field and hit 7-12 three-point shots in the final 20 minutes.
Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 39-30 lead with a 14-5 out of the second half locker room on three-pointers by Weatherford, junior James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male), Strickland and another by Weatherford. Manchester rallied to close within four points at 44-40 on a trey by Jon Thompson.
The Fightin' Engineers answered with an 11-4 run to gain a 55-44 lead at the 8:32 mark on five straight points from Gissentanner. Rose-Hulman pushed the margin to a game-high 19 at 66-47 with another 11-3 run to secure the victory.
The Fightin' Engineers return to action on Saturday afternoon at league rival Bluffton University.