TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology built a 22-point halftime lead and withstood a furious rally to defeat Bluffton University 79-77 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Tyler Duffy led the Fightin' Engineers with 20 points and six rebounds. Senior Jimmy Miller, senior Dillon Reynolds and freshman Charlie Aimone pitched in with 13 points each. Senior Matt Loesing was the fifth Rose-Hulman player in double figures with 11 points.
Rose-Hulman built a 43-21 halftime lead by shooting 56% from the field and holding Bluffton to 35%. The Beavers trimmed the margin to one in the second, but a late 8-0 run put Rose-Hulman ahead for double figures.
Bluffton again rallied late with five late points to close within 77-75. Duffy buried two free throws with five seconds remaining to push the lead to 79-75, before Bluffton scored at the buzzer.
Austin Rohde led the Bluffton offensive effort with 22 points. Preseason All-American Thayne Recker was held scoreless in the first half but ended up with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Beavers.
With the victory, Rose-Hulman moved into a second place tie in the HCAC standings with its fourth consecutive win. The Fightin' Engineers have also won five of their last six games.
Rose-Hulman improved to 11-8 overall and 8-4 in HCAC play, while Bluffton dropped to 9-10 and 4-8 in league games. The Fightin' Engineers return to action at Franklin College on Wednesday.