Men's Basketball Drops Opener in Birmingham

Men's Basketball Drops Opener in Birmingham

LIVE VIDEO & LIVE STATS (SUNDAY 1 PM CT vs. RUST)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology placed three players in double figures, but Birmingham Southern on a strong attack of its own for an 80-69 victory over the Fightin' Engineers in the 2016-17 men's basketball season opener on Saturday.

Sophomore Luke Callahan led three double figure scorers with 20 points on 8-16 from the field.  Sophomore Charlie Aimone added 17 points on 6-10 from the field.  Both Callahan and Aimone shared team-high honors with five rebounds.

Senior Collin Wojcik also reached double figures with 11 points on 3-7 from the field.  Freshman Ryuji Aoki provided scoring depth with eight points.

Birmingham Southern shot 52% from the field for the game and had four players in double figures.  Evan Lewis led the winners with 20 points, while James McLean added 15 points and Harrison Deneka scored 14.

Birmingham Southern maintained the lead for much of the game, leading 68-59 with 5:34 left.  Aoki buried a three-pointer and Aimone hit two free throws to close the margin within 68-64 with 4:23 remaining.

The defense stepped up for Birmingham Southern, however, as the Fightin' Engineers scored just two points over the next four minutes to secure the outcome.

Birmingham Southern improved to 1-1 on the season after winning 23 games last season.  Rose-Hulman stands 0-1 and returns to action in game two of the Birmingham Southern Tipoff Tournament on Sunday with a 1 p.m. Central Time matchup with Rust College.