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December 7, 2013

Despite Strickland’s 26, Rose men lose in basketball

LEXINGTON, KY. — Rose-Hulman rimmed out a potential game-tying 3-point shot in the final seconds, as Transylvania held on to top the Engineers 62-59 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball Saturday.

Following a Transylvania foul with 2.2 seconds remaining, Rose freshman Collin Wojcik rimmed out a shot that could have forced overtime. Tommy Sirkin grabbed the rebound to secure the Transylvania victory.

Senior Julian Strickland led all scorers with 26 points, including nine points in the final three minutes to get the Engineers within striking distance. Sophomore Jimmy Miller also reached double figures with 10 points and Wojcik had career highs of seven points and seven rebounds.

Alex Jones led three Transylvania players in double figures with 21 points. Mason Monroe added 14 points for the Pioneers and Parker Stansberry added 12 for a Pioneer squad that has joined Rose in qualifying for the last two NCAA Division III tournaments.

Transylvania shot 42 percent from the field and hit 12 of 14 free throws to provide the difference in the tightly contested game. The Engineers owned a 39-29 rebounding advantage and shot 40 percent for the game.

Transylvania grabbed its largest lead at 56-50 with 2:40 remaining before a score and a conventional three-point play by Strickland brought Rose-Hulman within 58-55 at the 2:25 mark.

The Pioneers pushed their edge to 60-55 on a Monroe field goal, but Strickland’s rebound basket off a missed 3-point shot made the score 60-57 with 1:10 remaining.

After a Transylvania turnover, Strickland scored again to bring Rose within 60-59 with 27 seconds left. Jones added two clutch free throws to give the home team a 62-59 edge with 14 seconds left.

Transylvania decided to foul the Engineers twice in the final seconds in an attempt to prevent a game-tying 3-point shot. The second foul with 2.2 seconds left set the stage for the final possession.

Rose-Hulman opened the first half with a strong charge to take leads of 23-12 on a score by Miller and 25-14 on a Wojcik basket at the 6:26 mark. Transylvania answered with a 15-4 run to knot the score at 27-27 on two free throws by Monroe. A three-point play by Strickland gave Rose a 32-30 edge at the half.

In the second half, Rose-Hulman pushed its lead to seven points at 37-30 on a score by senior Alec Houpt with 18:44 remaining. Transylvania answered with eight straight points to regain the lead at 38-37.

The margin remained within one possession until a Stansberry basket put the Pioneers ahead 54-50 with 4:01 remaining.

The Engineers (3-3 overall, 1-1 HCAC) will travel to DePauw on Wednesday night. Transylvania improved to 2-4 and 1-1 respectively.

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