Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman hits the road for Bluffton and a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup at 3 p.m. today.
The Engineers lead Defiance by one game in the race for the HCAC regular-season championship. Rose needs two wins in its three remaining road games to clinch the top seed and hosting rights for this month’s HCAC tournament.
Coach Jim Shaw also looks to become just the second coach in Rose-Hulman history to reach 300 career victories. John Mutchner holds the all-time record with 340 wins, with Shaw compiling a career mark of 299-219 entering today’s game.
This Rose senior class could set the mark for the winningest senior class in program history today. The class of 1979 finished with a school-record 78 career wins, and this year’s class enters with a 78-27 record during their era. The 2014 senior class also has a mark of 42-8 over the past two seasons.
As for the game itself, Rose-Hulman stands 18-4 overall and 13-2 in league play entering a matchup with a Bluffton squad that is 8-14 and 4-11 respectively. The Engineers have won 15 of their last 16 games, including a 61-50 Senior Night win over Hanover on Wednesday.
Senior Julian Strickland was named HCAC Player of the Week for the fifth time this season after scoring a career-high 41 points in an 85-65 win at Manchester last Saturday. He continues to lead the league and ranks 13th nationally in scoring at 22.6 points per game this season.
Strickland has also set school records for single-season free throws made (162) and career free throws made (384) this year. His efforts have included twelve 20-point games, six 30-point games and one 40-point game this season. Strickland ranks seventh in school history with 1,597 career points.
The regular starting lineup also includes Jimmy Miller (10.8 ppg), Alec Houpt (7.2), Tyler Duffy (6.0) and Jordy Martin (5.0).
Bluffton has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Will Pope at 14.9 ppg. The Beavers must win their final three games to have a chance to qualify for the league tournament.