TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Senior Kelsey Ploof had one of her best performances of the season and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s basketball team used hot shooting from the field to defeat Earlham College on the road, 62-57, in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Wednesday.
Ploof (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) scored a team-high 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Engineers, who improve to 5-7, 3-2 in the HCAC. The 17 points mark a season-high for the senior. Freshman Kristen Belyea (Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet Seymour) added 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting and junior Gracie Gibbs (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa) added 10 points for RHIT.
The Engineers shot 53.7 percent (22 of 41) from the field for the contest, compared to 41.5 percent (22 of 53) by the Quakers.
Rose-Hulman led Earlham (5-7, 1-4 HCAC) 32-28 at the half, led by 10 points from Belyea. Earlham built a five-point lead (41-36) with 13:41 remaining before the Engineers went on a 20-8 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 56-49 advantage with 3:43 to play.
The Quakers would get no closer than three, 60-57, in the final minutes, as freshman Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) drained two free throws with 17 seconds to play to seal the victory.
The Engineers held Earlham’s leader scorer, Kasin Spay, to just eight points on the night on 3 of 11 shooting. Spay had entered the contest as the HCAC’s second-leading scorer at 18.2 points per contest. Raven Bryant-Williams led the Quakers with 19 points as the lone Earlham player in double figures.
Belyea added three assists and junior Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton) chipped in nine points, and two assists for the Engineers. Lauren Meadows (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf) scored eight points for RHIT.
The Engineers continued their rebounding prowess, outrebounding the Quakers by a 36-23 margin. Rose-Hulman holds the top rebounding margin in the HCAC.
Rose-Hulman hits the road for two more road contests at Defiance (Saturday, 1 p.m.) and Franklin (Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.) before returning home to take on Mount St. Joseph Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m.
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