TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's basketball team moved up one spot to the No. 18 position in the latest d3hoops.com national weekly poll released on Monday.
The current poll marks Rose-Hulman's best men's basketball national ranking since reaching the No. 13 spot in February 1999. The Fightin' Engineers are also the only Indiana school to receive votes in the d3hoops.com men's basketball national poll.
Rose-Hulman stands 21-2 on the season and has clinched a share of its first regular season conference title since 2001 with a 15-1 record in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Fightin' Engineers can clinch their first outright league title since 1999 and secure hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament with a win at Earlham College in the John Mutchner Cup Game on Wednesday.
Rose-Hulman rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to top Defiance College 63-62 on Saturday to earn its 21st victory in a men's basketball season for just the second time in program history. Senior Nate Gissentanner scored a career-high 20 points, all in the second half, in the win.
Defense has been Rose-Hulman's calling card this season, as the Fightin' Engineers have held 11 opponents to 45 points or less and seven opponents to under 40 points in a game. The team leads all NCAA Division I, II and III men's basketball programs in scoring defense by allowing just 49.3 points per game.
Offensively, junior Julian Strickland leads the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game, with senior Austin Weatherford also in double figures at 12.1. The starting lineup also includes senior Brenton Balsbaugh (7.0), senior Jon Gerken (7.0), and junior James Pillischafske (4.4).
Rose-Hulman closes the regular season with road games at Earlham on Wednesday and at Hanover on Saturday. Live in-game stats and live video for all games left this season will be available online at www.rose-hulman.edu/sports.