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January 11, 2014

Rose-Hulman women improve to 4-2 in HCAC

DEFIANCE, OHIO — Three Rose-Hulman players scored in double figures as the Engineers picked up their third straight victory with a 63-57 win over Defiance in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball Saturday.

Rose improved to 6-7 overall and 4-2 in the HCAC, while the Yellow Jackets dropped to 4-9 and 1-5 respectively.

Rose-Hulman senior Kelsey Ploof reached double figures for the fifth straight game with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting. She added four rebounds, three assists and two steals in the game. Ploof was also a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line, including two with 27.9 seconds to play to seal the win.

Junior Sheree Williams added a season-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and freshman Jamie Loving added 10 points on a 5-for-5 performance from the floor. The 10 points for Loving also marked a career high.

Rose led 33-32 at halftime and trailed just once in the second half, 34-33, with 19:45 to play when Defiance’s Megan Zachrich opened the second period with a jumper.

The Engineers regained the lead on a Williams triple on the next possession and led by as many as seven points with 8:20 to play after a Williams steal and fastbreak layup.

The Yellow Jackets responded with four straight points to cut the lead to three, but RHIT freshman Ava Paruleski drained a deep 3 in the corner to push the lead back to six (58-52) with 6:35 to play.

Ploof made a big bucket in the lane and Williams made 1 of 2 from the line before Ploof drained two free throws in the final seconds to seal it.

Ploof scored 13 of her game-high 19 points in a back-and-forth first half that featured several lead changes. A Carrie Morris 3-pointer gave the Engineers a 7-4 lead with 16:43 to play in the first half, but the Yellow Jackets would execute a 14-2 run over the next six minutes to build a nine-point lead (18-9) at the 11:56 mark.

The Engineers, led by two buckets each by Ploof and Loving, answered with a 15-point run of their own, as Loving’s layup at the 4:16 mark tied the game at 24-all.

Williams drained a triple from the wing with 29 seconds left and the Engineers’ defense held strong in the final seconds to give RHIT a 33-32 halftime lead.

The Engineers shot 55.3 percent (26 of 47) for the game, including a 65.2-percent (15 of 23) performance in the first half. It was the first time RHIT shot 55 percent from the field for a game since its 58.1-percent performance against Anderson on Jan. 30, 2013.

Defiance was held to 44.9-percent shooting from the field and the Engineers held the rebounding edge, 27-24.

Rose-Hulman, behind the defense of Ploof, Loving and freshman Josie Schmidt also held the Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer, 6-foot-3 freshman Kesley Tietje, to seven points on 2-of-5 shooting. The freshman entered the contest averaging 17.7 points per contest.

Zachrich led Defiance with 16 points as the lone Yellow Jacket to reach double figures.

Rose travels to Franklin College Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup before returning home to face Mount St. Joseph on Jan. 18 in Hulbert Arena.

ROSE-HULMAN (63) — Ploof 8-10 3-3 19, Williams 6-8 1-2 15, Loving 5-5 0-0 10, Paruleski 2-3 0-0 5, Belyea 2-4 0-0 5, Morris 1-1 0-0 3, Meadows 0-6 2-3 2, Marshall 1-3 0-0 2, Gibbs 1-5 0-0 2, Schmidt 0-2 0-0 0, Evers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-47 FG, 6-8 FT, 63 TP.

DEFIANCE (57) — Zachrich 6-10 4-4 16, Bingley 3-5 3-4 9, King 3-6 0-0 7, Tietje 2-5 3-5 7, Smay 3-5 0-0 6, Harshman 2-6 2-2 6, Birchmeier 2-7 0-0 4, Williams 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 22-49 FG, 12-15 FT, 57 TP.

Halftime score — RH 33, DC 32. 3-point shooting — RH 5-10 (Williams 2-2, Morris 1-1, Paruleski 1-2, Belyea 1-3, Meadows 0-2), Defiance 1-6 (King 1-3, Smay 0-1, Harshman 0-1, Birchmeier 0-1). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — RH 27 (Gibbs 5), DC 24 (Bingley 6). Assists — RH 19 (Gibbs 5), DC 13 (Harshman 5). Total fouls — RH 11, DC 14. Att. — 675.


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