NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology clinched a bid to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament with a 77-75 win at Manchester University on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman also clinched its sixth consecutive winning season with today's victory. The Fightin' Engineers will compete in their first game in the HCAC Tournament on Friday Feb. 26, with a site and bracket structure to be determined after next weekend's play.
Seniors Jimmy Miller and Dillon Reynolds led the Rose-Hulman offensive performance with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Senior Tyler Duffy led four eight-point scorers with a well rounded performance that included eight assists and six rebounds.
Other key contributors for Rose-Hulman included Luke Callahan with eight points and five rebounds; Mitch Williams with eight points and four rebounds; and Matt Loesing with eight points and two rebounds. Sophomore Stephen Schueth had six points and six rebounds, and freshman Charlie Aimone contributed six points.
Adrian Johnson led three Manchester players in double figures with 23 points and six assists. Brady Dolezal added 17 points, and Chase Casteel pitched in with 12 points.
Miller buried a three-pointer with 4:04 remaining to give Rose-Hulman a 70-62 advantage. Johnson answered another Engineer with five consecutive points to bring the Spartans within 75-73 with 1:25 left.
Another Miller basket pushed Rose-Hulman's lead to 77-73, before Dolezal closed the margin to two points at 77-75. Manchester forced a turnover to have a final chance to go for the tie or win, but a Dolezal layup rimmed out at the buzzer as the Fightin' Engineers held on for the victory.
Rose-Hulman improved to 14-9 overall and 11-5 in HCAC play, while Manchester dropped to 11-12 and 8-8 in conference games. The Fightin' Engineers remain third in the league standings and travel to Anderson on Wednesday.