TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman junior Julian Strickland was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year for men’s basketball and Jim Shaw earned Coach of the Year honors in awards released by the league office this week.
Strickland, a Pike High School graduate, was joined by senior teammate Austin Weatherford as a first-team all-league selection. Seniors Jon Gerken and Nate Gissentanner captured honorable-mention all-conference accolades.
Strickland averaged a team-high 14.5 points per game to lead a Rose squad that won conference regular-season and tournament championships in the same season for the first time in school history. The civil-engineering major became the 29th member of Rose-Hulman’s 1,000-point club and has tallied 1,082 points in his career.
Strickland becomes the third Engineer in the coach Shaw era to earn Conference Player of the Year honors. Previous award winners were Bryan Egli (1999 National Player of the Year) and Philip Griffith (2004).
In addition, Strickland captured his second career all-conference award. He also was named the HCAC tournament’s Most Valuable Player during Rose’s 2012 title run at Transylvania that culminated with a career-high 30-point effort in the championship game.
Shaw captured his fourth career Coach of the Year honor after leading Rose-Hulman to a 24-3 record and a 16-2 conference mark to win the regular-season title. The Engineers backed up the effort by winning the league postseason tournament title with wins over Defiance and Hanover last weekend.
Shaw’s squad recorded the second-longest winning streak in school history at 11 games, then added an eight-game streak later in the season. The team’s 24 wins this year tie the previous school record set by the 1976-77 NCAA quarterfinal squad coached by John Mutchner.
Shaw enters the NCAA Division III tournament with a career record of 281-214 to rank second in school history in wins (281) and winning percentage (.568). His coaching staff includes fourth-year assistant coach Rusty Loyd and student assistant Blake Knotts.
Weatherford ranked second on the team with an average of 12.5 points per game and leads the squad with 95 assists and 39 steals. His career point total of 1,194 points ranks 16th in school history.
Gerken averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 26 starts this season. He has scored 755 career points in 106 appearances that also includes 77 starts as an Engineer and also was named to the conference all-sportsmanship team.
Gissentanner ranks third on the team in scoring at 7.8 points per game, including 10 double-figure scoring games this season. His career totals include 107 appearances and 849 career points.
No. 19-ranked Rose-Hulman (24-3) will square off with No. 12-ranked Calvin (24-3) in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament at 7 p.m. Saturday in Hulbert Arena. Rose vs. Calvin is the only one of 31 first-round NCAA matchups that features two teams in the d3hoops.com national top 20.
In other basketball news:
• Middle school tournament — At Otter Creek Middle School, Otter Creek defeated Sarah Scott 32-12 in the semifinal round of the Vigo County girls sixth-grade tournament Tuesday.
The Otters were led by Aundrea Kearschner with 12 points, while Sarah Scott got seven points from Sarah Chatman.
Also at Otter Creek, the Otters’ seventh-grade squad defeated Sarah Scott 31-6. Otter Creek’s top scorer was Hailey Miller with nine points, while the Scotties got two points apiece from Bethany Roger, Aleni Brewer and Victoria Jones.
At Honey Creek, the Honey Creek sixth-graders knocked off West Vigo 30-12 behind 16 points from Orion Roshel. For West Vigo, Molly McClain, Alexus Reed and Megan Benefiel tallied three points apiece.
Also at Honey Creek, the host Bees defeated West Vigo 39-24. Taylor Pepperworth and Rachel Craft paced the winners with 12 and 11 points respectively.
For the Trojans, Morgan Weir had nine points.
Otter Creek’s sixth-graders will battle Honey Creek for the county championship at 6 p.m. Thursday in Terre Haute South High School’s gym. The seventh-grade title matchup involving the same two schools will follow at about 7:30.
• Capital University 7, Rose-Hulman 5, 10 innings — At Auburndale, Fla., Capital rallied from a 7-5 deficit to earn a victory in 10 innings over the Engineers on Tuesday.
Capital scored one run in the eighth and one in the ninth to force extra innings, then won the game with two runs in the 10th.
Senior Nick Pilipovich smashed a home run among his three hits, with two runs scored, to lead the Rose offense.
Junior Hank Akard and freshman Caleb Kissel pitched in with three singles each. Akard scored twice with one RBI and Kissel also had one RBI.
Rose-Hulman (1-2) will return to Florida action Thursday against Augustana.
Capital 110 210 011 2 — 9 15 2
Rose-Hulman 220 003 000 0 — 7 14 2
Brennan, Colston (5), Flegal (6), Sifferlin (10) and Carnahan; Carroll, E.Post (5), Stull (9), Akard (10) and Pilpovich. HR — C: Branisel (C). RH: Pilipovich.
• ISU game called off — Due to poor weather conditions in the Clarksville, Tenn., area, today’s game between Indiana State and Austin Peay has been postponed.
The universities have rescheduled their matchup in Tennessee to Tuesday, March 12. First pitch will be announced at a future time.
The Sycamores and Governors met last season during the 2012 NCAA Eugene Regional, with APSU picking up a 1-0 win in an elimination game. ISU and APSU will also meet this season in Terre Haute, matching up on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Wednesday, March 20.
Track and field
• Sycamore women 18th in nation, men 31st — The Indiana State women’s team is ranked in the top 25 in the nation for a seventh straight week as it is 18th, according to the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) computer rankings released Tuesday.
The Sycamore men are currently 31st nationally, marking the seventh straight week they have been among the top 35 of the nation.
The ISU women are coming off a second-place finish in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference indoor championships, their best finish since they won the team title in 2001.
The Indiana State men won their second team title in three years in the MVC championships but fell out of the top 25 for the first time in three weeks.