TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Kelsey Ploof scored 14 points and Jamie Loving added a career-high 11 points to lead the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's basketball team to a 64-48 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over visiting Mount St. Joseph Saturday at Hulbert Arena.
The Fightin' Engineers improve to 7-8 overall and 5-3 in the HCAC, while the Lions drop to 1-14, 1-7.
Ploof (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half, as she connected for the Engineers' first nine points in the second frame to kickstart a 18-10 run that gave RHIT a 19-point lead (45-26) with 13:12 to play. The senior connected on two layups and completed a three-point play before draining two more free throws at the 17:09 mark. After a Gracie Gibbs (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa) layup gave Rose-Hulman a 16-point cushion (38-22), Ploof connected on her first 3-point attempt of the season to give the senior her first career make from behind the arc.
With Ploof in foul trouble for the final 14 minutes of the half, the rest of the Engineers did the job on offense, as Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton) scored six of her nine points in the second frame and Loving (Normal, Ill./Normal West) added six points. Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) drained two jumpers and an Ava Paruleski (Shumway, Ill./Beecher City) triple at the 3:55 mark kept the lead at 18 (56-38).
Mount St. Joseph cut the lead to 10, 56-46, with 1:39 remaining, but two Williams layups and a pair of free throws by Kristen Belyea (Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet Seymour) and Loving helped keep the Lions at bay down the stretch.
Rose-Hulman led by 11 at the break, 27-16, after both teams struggled from the field in the first 10 minutes of play. With RHIT leading 8-5 at the 10:10 mark, The Engineers would go on a 7-2 run behind Belyea triple and a layups by Ploof and Loving. After MSJ cut the lead back to three (17-14) with a 3-pointer by Meredith Hartfiel at the 5:32 mark, the Engineers responded with a 10-2 run to close the half, capped by a jumper just before the buzzer by sophomore Carrie Morris (Altadena, Calif./Mayfield).
Ploof pulled down a team-best nine rebounds and added three steals and two assists and Loving added eight boards for the Engineers. Belyea dished out a career-best six assists and finished with seven points. Gibbs added seven points and Marshall had six points, three assists and two steals.
Rose-Hulman finished the game shooting 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the field compared to 36.7 percent (18-of-49) by Mount St. Joseph. The Engineers also won the rebounding battle, 37-31.
Tara Dennis led the Lions with 17 points and Chelsea Castleberry added 11 points.
The Engineers return to the court Wednesday when RHIT takes on visiting Hanover College in an HCAC matchup. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Hulbert Arena.
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