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February 1, 2014

Sole possession of first place in HCAC belongs to Shaw’s Engineers

TERRE HAUTE — The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team took its first lead in more than 23 minutes with 1:23 left on the clock and then shut down the Defiance offense to clinch a 58-54 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.

Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers (14-4, 10-2 HCAC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference with the win over the Yellow Jackets (9-3, 14-5), who entered the contest tied with Rose.

Senior Alec Houpt drained a tough turnaround jumper outside the lane to give the Engineers a 53-52 lead — their first since the 5:45 mark of the first half — after they trailed by as many as seven (46-39) with 8:05 to play.

Houpt followed with a steal via a Tyler Duffy deflection to give the ball back to the Engineers with less than a minute left in regulation. Defiance got the ball back with 13.4 seconds left and had a chance to win or tie, but Duffy came up with the steal and was fouled to send him to the charity stripe.

He made 1 of 2 free throws and senior Julian Strickland made two free throws of his own after a Defiance technical foul to push the lead to four, 56-52, with 7.1 seconds to play. Strickland hit two more from the stripe with 1.2 seconds left to seal the victory.

Strickland led the Engineers with 14 points and four assists, Jimmy Miller added 13 points and Houpt finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

Defiance led 27-23 at the half, behind 12 points from the Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer, Ryan Hicks. He was held to four points in the second half.

Despite a Miller dunk — via a Jordy Martin lob pass — the Yellow Jackets took a 46-39 lead with a Wade Wooley bucket. But Martin responded with a triple from the top of the key, Strickland buried a jumper and Miller added a tough reverse layup to cut Defiance’s lead to two at 48-46  with 5:05 showing on the scoreboard.

After a Yellow Jackets jumper, Martin drained his second 3 of the game to bring the Engineers within 50-49. Duffy made two free throws and then Martin forced a Defiance turnover to set up Houpt’s turnaround hook shot with 1:23 left.

Hicks led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points and Bernard Edwards added 13.

Rose-Hulman will return to the court Wednesday when the Engineers travel to Earlham for a 7:30 p.m. contest in Richmond. RHIT has a one-game lead over the Yellow Jackets in the HCAC standings with six conference games remaining.

Saturday’s victory completed a regular-season sweep over Defiance as RHIT won at Defiance 58-57 on Jan. 11.

DEFIANCE COLLEGE (54) — Hicks 7-14 2-2 16, Edwards 6-11 1-1 13, Roth 4-10 0-1 9, Wooley 4-5 0-0 8, Schomaeker 2-4 0-0 5, Reed 1-3 0-0 3, Tietje 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-48 FG, 3-4 FT, 54 TP.

ROSE-HULMAN (58) — Strickland 4-14 6-6 14, Miller 6-11 0-0 13, Houpt 5-6 0-0 10, Duffy 2-6 5-6 9, Martin 2-4 0-0 6, Hallstein 2-2 0-0 4, Loesing 1-1 0-0 2, Wojcik 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Povaleri 0-1 0-0 0, Stallings 0-0 0-0 0, Dodd 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 FG, 11-12 FT, 58 TP.

Halftime score — DC 27, RH 23. 3-point shooting — DC 3-13 (Schomaeker 1-3, Reed 1-2, Roth 1-4, Edwards 0-4), RH 3-12 (Martin 2-3, Miller 1-3, Duffy 0-1, Povaleri 0-1, Strickland 0-4). Fouled out — Hicks. Rebounds — DC 23 (Wooley 10), RH 26 (Houpt 6). Assists—DC 7 (Roth 4), RH 14 (Duffy 5). Total fouls — DC 12, RH 10. Technical foul — Hicks. Att. — 650.

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