CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's basketball team dropped a close road contest at #22 Mount St. Joseph 73-69 on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Nick McGrail started the game off strong for the Fightin' Engineers scoring Rose-Hulman's first 11 points and giving RHIT an early 11-9 lead through four minutes of action. Mount St. Joseph closed the gap however and took a 16-11 lead after a 7-0 run.
At the 7:18 mark in the first half junior Kyle Steckel drilled a three-pointer to give the Fightin' Engineers a 26-20 lead. The #22 Lions rallied however and ended the half on a 19-6 run to lead 39-32 at intermission.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman cut into the Lions' lead and at the 15:49 mark McGrail hit a pair of free throws to give the lead back to RHIT at 44-43.
After an Erik Edwards layup put MSJ back on top 45-44, the Fightin' Engineers went on 10-0 run over the next three and half minutes to grab a 54-45 lead. The run was highlighted by six points from sophomore Charlie Aimone.
However, Mount St. Joseph rallied over the next several minutes and Rose-Hulman could not maintain their lead. A Henry Jordan three in the corner tied the game back up at the 6:03 mark, 60-60.
The final six minutes of the contest were tightly contested and with 1:49 left a tip-in by John Czarnecki gave Rose a late 67-66 lead. Unfortunately, MSJ scored on their next trip down the floor and Rose-Hulman was not able to answer. After fouling in the final seconds, Rose-Hulman had a chacne to tie the game but a turnover on their final possession handed the ball back over to the Lions.
Czarnecki led RHIT with 18 points off of the bench in 26 minutes of action. McGrail finished with 13 points and Aimone finished with 12.
The loss drops Rose-Hulman to 1-3 on the season and 0-1 in HCAC play. #22 MSJ improved to 6-1 overall and 1-1 in the Heartland Conference.
The Fightin' Engineers will be back in action on Wednesday December 7 at Franklin College. Tip off is set for 7:30 p..m.