News From Terre Haute, Indiana


February 19, 2012

Engineer men knock off Hanover College

TERRE HAUTE — Playing the final home game of his men’s basketball career Saturday in Hulbert Arena, Blake Knotts burned the nets for six 3-point goals and a season-high 18 points to lead Rose-Hulman over Hanover 75-61 in a battle of top-three teams in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“Guys were getting it to me in good spots,” the 5-foot-10 senior guard emphasized. “They were penetrating… and it’s a shot we practice every day in practice. It just worked out well today.”

“It was great to see him break out in his last home game,” Rose men’s coach Jim Shaw told the Tribune-Star. “He’s had trouble getting shots this year, partially due to our own difficulties and partially due to him being a major emphasis for other teams.”

Junior Austin Weatherford and sophomore Julian Strickland, playing a rare reserve role because of Shaw’s decision to start all three seniors, contributed 18 and 17 points respectively. Senior center Spencer Harlan, a Terre Haute native making only his second start of the season, pitched in with 11 points as the Engineers finished third in the HCAC regular-season standings, one game behind second-place Hanover.

“I was so happy to start, especially with all my family here,” Harlan admitted. “Coach [Shaw] told us the other day in practice that the seniors were going to be starting, so I was expecting it.”

The Engineers will face Defiance at 6 p.m. Friday in the first round of the conference tournament at regular-season champion Transylvania, located in Lexington, Ky.

Earlier Saturday afternoon, the Rose-Hulman women lost to Hanover, which tied for first with Franklin in the HCAC standings, by an 83-57 score. Making her final home appearance, senior Alisa Dickerson posted 24 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Kelsey Ploof added 15 points for the Engineers, who still qualified for the HCAC tournament.

As the No. 6 seed, they will take on No. 3 Manchester at 8 p.m. Friday in Franklin’s gym.

“We kept it close for about the first 15 minutes,” Rose women’s coach Jon Prevo said of Saturday’s loss. “They’ve got numbers [of players] and we don’t… Hanover shot the ball extremely well today. Overall, the final score did not indicate how hard our kids fought, but it was an indication of how good Hanover is.”

Top scorers for Hanover were Alicia Hopkins with 17 points and substitute Natalie Morse with 13. The visitors connected on 12 of 22 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc, compared to 0-for-8 shooting from long range for Rose-Hulman.

Before the contest, Dickerson received flowers and a plaque as tributes to her eventful four-year career.

“Alisa had another outstanding game,” Prevo mentioned later. “Everything she’s done for four years, she did today and more. I can’t say enough about Alisa. I wish I had her for four more years.”

In the men’s matchup Saturday, Rose used a 7-0 run — consisting of a mini-hook by Brenton Balsbaugh, a 3-pointer by Strickland and an inside bucket by Harlan — to turn a 13-11 deficit into an 18-13 lead in the first half.

The Engineers built a 31-19 halftime advantage thanks to treys by Weatherford, Strickland and Weatherford again in the final 2:36.

Shaw’s squad blew the contest open in the second half, padding its cushion to 52-27 on the heels of consecutive 3s by Knotts, Strickland and Knotts again.

Five of Knotts’ trifectas came in the second half as he climbed into second place on the school’s all-time list for 3-pointers made with 193. Britt Petty (1987-91) owns the career record with 245.

“It’s pretty easy if I can just stand out there and shoot 3s when guys get it to me when I’m wide open,” Knotts pointed out.

As a team, the Engineers were good on 13 of 22 attempts from behind the arc.

“The lid finally came off the basket for us from the perimeter,” Shaw said. “We had not been shooting it well and sometimes it just takes a couple going in to get everybody going. We can just hope that that carries over because … if you’re not making shots, it makes winning very difficult.”

“It was definitely a team win,” Harlan added. “We shot 60 percent [actually 59.1] from 3. It was awesome. We were on such a roll. When the team has energy like that, it’s amazing to play with them.”

In the final minute, Harlan got into the 3-point act by firing in the first of his college career.

“Coach called the play and I went up and shot it,” he explained. “I thought ‘there’s no way that’s going in.’ But it went in, so I was pretty happy.”

“I would like every post player who plays four years here to be able to launch [and make] a 3,” Shaw noted. “It’s similar to when baseball coach [Jeff] Jenkins tries to give all his pitchers an at-bat before they graduate… Spencer’s actually a good shooter. He’s worked real hard on that. So I ran a play to get him that 3 and it worked better than I ever dreamed.

“I feel bad, though, because in no way, shape or form was I trying to put anything in Hanover’s face. I was just trying to do something that one of my kids would remember the rest of his life.”

Overall, the veteran coach couldn’t think of a better ending to the home careers of seniors Knotts, Harlan and Jason Haslag.

“They’re great kids and they’ve been very supportive of me as a coach and of their teammates,” Shaw stressed. “They’ve all had significant roles in their career here and they’ve all done a great job of accepting their roles this year as we’ve increased our overall talent level.”



HANOVER COLLEGE (83) — Schmahl 0-2 3-6 3, Trambaugh 2-4 3-3 7, Hopkins 6-9 2-3 17, Prater 0-1 3-4 3, Bowyer 1-1 0-0 2, Caudill 0-0 0-0 0, Brewer 2-7 0-0 5, Weddle 1-2 5-7 7, Morse 4-7 2-2 13, Gahimer 4-6 0-0 9, Withered 1-3 0-0 3, Watson 0-1 2-2 2, Bischoff 3-3 0-0 9, Hopf 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 25-50 FG, 21-29 FT, 83 TP.

ROSE-HULMAN (57) — Finnell 2-6 1-2 5, Williams 1-7 2-4 4, Gibbs 4-9 1-2 9, Dickerson 7-11 10-12 24, Ploof 3-6 9-9 15, Dalton 0-0 0-0 0, Fuhs 0-2 0-0 0, Rollins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-42 FG, 23-29 FT, 57 TP.

Halftime score — HC 38, RH 29. 3-point shooting — HC 12-22 (Bischoff 3-3, Morse 3-4, Hopkins 3-5, Gahimer 1-2, Withered 1-3, Brewer 1-4, Trambaugh 0-1), RH 0-8 (Gibbs 0-1, Rollins 0-1, Finnell 0-3, Williams 0-3). FG Pct. — HC .500, RH .405. 3-pt. FG Pct. — HC .545, RH .000. FT Pct. — HC .724, RH .793. Rebounds — HC 29 (Hopf 6, Hopkins 4), RH 32 (Gibbs 8, Dickerson 7, Ploof 4). Assists — HC 16 (Schmahl 5, Hopkins 4, Gahimer 3), RH 6 (Gibbs 2). Steals — HC 16 (Hopkins, Bowyer and Gahimer 3), RH 9 (Finnell, Dickerson, Ploof and Fuhs 2). Turnovers — HC 13, RH 24. Blocks — HC 3 (Bowyer, Withered and Watson), RH 4 (Dickerson 2, Gibbs and Fuhs). Total fouls — HC 22, RH 19. Fouled out — Finnell, Att. — 350.

Next — Rose-Hulman (8-17 overall, 8-12 HCAC) will face Manchester in the first round of the HCAC tournament at 8 p.m. Friday at Franklin. Hanover finished its regular season 20-4 and 16-2 respectively.



HANOVER COLLEGE (61) — Rieger 0-1 0-0 0, Case 5-7 2-2 12, Hendricks 1-3 0-0 3, Nowicki 5-11 7-8 18, James 0-2 0-0 0, Bass 1-2 0-0 2, Kring 6-8 0-1 13, Fletcher 0-0 0-0 0, Faehr 0-3 0-0 0, Crabtree 3-7 1-2 8, Steinhart 0-2 0-0 0, Ashton 0-1 1-2 1, Gunter 0-0 1-2 1, Bromm 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 22-49 FG, 12-17 FT, 61 TP.

ROSE-HULMAN (75) — Haslag 0-1 0-2 0, Harlan 3-3 4-4 11, Knotts 6-11 0-0 18, Weatherford 4-11 8-10 18, Gissentanner 2-7 0-0 5, Pillischafske 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Strickland 7-9 0-0 17, Gerken 2-2 0-2 4, Balsbaugh 1-1 0-0 2, Hallstein 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-45 FG, 12-18 FT, 75 TP.

Halftime score — RH 31, HC 19. 3-point shooting — HC 5-21 (Hendricks 1-1, Bromm 1-1, Kring 1-3, Nowicki 1-4, Crabtree 1-5, Rieger 0-1, Bass 0-1, Faehr 0-2, Steinhart 0-1), RH 13-22 (Knotts 6-11, Strickland 3-3, Weatherford 2-5, Harlan 1-1, Gissentanner 1-2). FG Pct. — HC . 449, RH .556. 3-pt. FG Pct. — HC .238, RH .591. FT Pct. — HC .706, RH .667. Rebounds — HC 25 (Steinhart 4, Case, Nowicki and Faehr 3), RH 30 (Weatherford 8, Harlan 7, Haslag and Strickland 3). Assists — HC 9 (Hendricks 3, Bass and Faehr 2), RH 18 (Weatherford 6, Strickland 4, Gissentanner 3, Haslag 2). Steals — HC 9 (Nowicki 3, Hendricks 2), RH 6 (Weatherford and Gerken 2). Turnovers — HC 15, RH 17. Blocks — HC 1 (Faehr), RH 1 (Gerken). Total fouls — HC 17, RH 15. Fouled out — none. Att. — 600.

Next — Rose-Hulman (17-8 overall, 11-7 HCAC) will take on Defiance in the first round of the HCAC tournament at 6 p.m. Friday at Transylvania. Hanover finished its regular season 16-8 and 12-6 respectively.

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