TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology retained the John Mutchner Cup and qualified for the
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament with a 64-53
victory over Earlham College on Wednesday night.
Rose-Hulman earned the Mutchner Cup for the
fifth consecutive year and has now won seven straight meetings over
The Fightin' Engineers lead the all-time
Mutchner Cup series 7-4, named for the former Rose-Hulman men's
basketball coach and athletic director who was also a standout
athlete at Earlham. Mutchner has been inducted into the
Athletic Hall of Fame at both institutions.
The victory also secured Rose-Hulman a bid
to the six-team HCAC Tournament. The Fightin' Engineers will
compete in a first round game on Friday Feb. 24 at Transylvania
University against an opponent to be determined.
Junior Austin Weatherford
(Cicero/Hamilton Heights) led three Rose-Hulman players in
double figures with 16 points.
Sophomore Julian Strickland
(Indianapolis/Pike) added 13 points and nine rebounds,
with junior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora)
scoring 13 points with three steals.
Colton Bragg led the Earlham offense with 14
points, and Kyle Calder also reached double figures with 10
Rose-Hulman relied on a 12-2 spurt late in
the first half to turn a 14-14 tie into a 26-16 lead with 2:17 left
in the first half. Weatherford buried four free throws and
scored on a layup, while Strickland and junior Jordy Martin
(New Albany) added three-point shots in the
Earlham trimmed the margin to six points at
34-28 early in the second half, before a score by Weatherford and a
three-pointer by Gerken pushed Rose-Hulman's advantage to
Earlham trimmed the deficit to seven points
again at 44-37 with 12:03 left, but Rose-Hulman answered again with
a three-pointer by senior Blake Knotts (Louisville,
Ky./Christian) at the 9:43 mark to go ahead 51-38.
The Quakers were unable to close within less than nine points in
the final five minutes.
Rose-Hulman improved to 16-8 overall and
10-7 in HCAC play, while Earlham dropped to 2-22 and 2-15 in league
games. The Fightin' Engineers host Hanover in the Senior Day
regular season finale on Saturday at Hulbert Arena.