News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Rose-Hulman

February 22, 2014

Female Engineers climb into HCAC tourney with win at Mount St. Joseph

CINCINNATI — Led by 16 points from senior Kelsey Ploof, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team defeated Mount St. Joseph 58-51 in its regular-season finale Saturday to clinch the final spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.

The Engineers (10-15, 8-10 HCAC) earned the sixth seed in the upcoming league tournament and will face Franklin in the quarterfinals Friday at tournament host Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

The two teams split during the regular season, with Rose picking up a 65-61 victory over the Grizzlies Feb. 19 in Terre Haute. Franklin (13-12, 11-7 HCAC), which lost to Defiance 62-60 Saturday, won the first meeting over the Engineers, 51-31.

In Saturday's win, Ploof shot 4 of 9 from the field and 8 for 10 from the free-throw line to go along with six rebounds in her final regular-season game for the Engineers. Freshman Abbie Marshall added 11 points for RHIT, which included a 9-for-10 showing at the free-throw line.

The Engineers trailed at the break, 23-22, before taking control in the second half. RHIT opened the second period on a 5-0 run, sparked by two free throws from junior Gracie Gibbs and a 3-pointer by Carrie Morris to give the visitors a 27-24 lead at the 17:01 mark.

With 13:44 to play, Rose-Hulman extended its lead to eight, 33-25, fueled by two more free throws from Ploof and another jumper from Morris. Mount St. Joseph (3-22, 3-15 HCAC) made a run of its own, trimming the lead to three, 40-37, with a Tara Dennis layup at the 6:42 mark. Both teams traded baskets over the next two minutes before the Engineers pulled away with a 11-3 run to take its largest lead of the game (53-42) with 2:46 left.

Rose made 7 of 9 free throws over the span, as Kristen Belyea drained two shots from the charity stripe to go along with a layup, Marshall made two free throws and Ploof added a bucket and three free throws.

The Engineers finished the game 29 of 35 (82.9 percent) from the free-throw line, compared to 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) for the Lions. Rose-Hulman also won the rebounding battle 42-25, led by 10 from freshman Jamie Loving.

Heidi McManus led Mount St. Joseph in scoring with 22 points.

Ploof and fellow senior Jaci Dalton have reached the HCAC tournament every year in their career for the Engineers, who reach the postseason tournament for the sixth time under eighth-year coach Jon Prevo.

ROSE-HULMAN (58) — Ploof 4-9 8-10 16, Marshall 1-4 9-10 11, Morris 4-7 0-0 9, Loving 3-4 2-3 8, Gibbs 1-4 6-6 8, Belyea 1-3 4-6 6, Schmidt 0-3 0-0 0, Dalton 0-0 0-0 0, Evers 0-0 0-0 0, Meadows 0-0 0-0 0, Paruleski 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-35 FG, 29-35 FT, 58 TP.  

MOUNT ST. JOSEPH (51) — McManus 6-12 6-10 22, Dennis 4-16 1-5 9, Mosler 3-8 0-0 7, Castleberry 2-9 1-2 6, Hartfiel 2-6 0-0 6, Ellinghausen 0-0 1-2 1, Webb 0-2 0-0 0, Froehlke 0-1 0-0 0, Webb 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-55 FG, 9-19 FT, 51 TP.

Halftime score — MSJ 23, RH 22. 3-point shooting — RH 1-4 (Morris 1-2, Belyea 0-2), MSJ 8-18 (McManus 4-6, Hartfiel 2-5, Castleberry 1-1, Mosler 1-3, Webb 0-1, Dennis 0-2). Fouled out — Dennis. Rebounds — RH 42 (Loving 10), MSJ 25 (Dennis 9). Assists — RH 6 (Gibbs and Marshall 2), MSJ 12 (Castleberry 5). Total fouls — RH 16, MSJ 21. Att. — 134.

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