TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology opens the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament with a matchup against Manchester University on Friday at 6 p.m. at Defiance College.
The Fightin' Engineers have won eight of their last 10 games entering the HCAC Tournament and came within one shot of earning a first-round bye and a league co-championship. Defiance secured hosting rights on a buzzer beating jumper at Rose-Hulman on Saturday.
Rose-Hulman features a balanced scoring attack that includes four players averaging double figures in scoring. Senior Dillon Reynolds leads the team at 12.1 points per game, followed by senior Matt Loesing at 11.7.
Manchester qualified for the HCAC Tournament by winning at Defiance and at Transylvania in its final two games to move to 13-12 overall and 10-8 in HCAC play. The Spartans feature three players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Adrian Johnson at 18.0 points per game. Brady Dolezal (13.9 ppg) and Matt Brown (11.9 ppg) are also double figure scorers for Manchester.
The two teams split a pair of tight matchups this season. Manchester won 79-75 at Rose-Hulman on Jan. 9, and the Fightin' Engineers won 77-75 at Manchester on Feb. 13.
The winner of the six-team HCAC Tournament, which continues through Sunday, receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Rose-Hulman is 12-12 all-time in postseason tournament play and won the 1996, 2012, 2013 and 2014 conference tournament championships. The team seeks its 12th appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
HCAC TOURNAMENT BRACKET:
FRIDAY FEB. 26 - OPENING ROUND AT DEFIANCE
#4 Rose-Hulman (15-10) vs. #5 Manchester (13-12), 6 p.m.
#3 Hanover (14-11) vs. #6 Transylvania (10-15), 8 p.m.
SATURDAY FEB. 27 - SEMIFINALS AT DEFIANCE
#4/#5 winner at #1 Defiance (15-10), 5 p.m.
#3/#6 winner vs. #2 Mount St. Joseph (16-9), 7 p.m.
SUNDAY FEB. 28 - CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT DEFIANCE
Semifinal Winners, 2 p.m.