TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was narrowly edged Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena as Heartland Conference-leading Mount St. Joseph needed overtime to knock off the Fightin' Engineers by a final score of 76-68.
The men jumped out to a quick start and led for most of the first half. A layup by Nick McGrail at the 13:09 mark gave RHIT an early 17-10 lead over the Lions. Rose-Hulman held a steady, but tight, advantage over MSJ. The Lions trimmed RHIT's lead to two at the 3:56 mark, 26-24, after a jumper by Holden Hertzel. Rose-Hulman responded with a Charlie Aimone three-pointer that pushed the lead back up to five. At the half Rose-Hulman led by one, 31-30.
Mount St. Joseph opened up the second half with a three-point play from Erik Edwards but Rose-Hulman used a run to wrestle their largest lead of the day. The Fightin' Engineers used a 13-1 run over the next seven minutes to gain a 44-34 lead with 12:28 left in the ball game. The run was capped by back-to-back threes from Collin Wojcik and Aimone.
Rose-Hulman held a steady advantage and led 58-52 with five minutes remaining in the game. However, the Fightin' Engineers could not stop Andrew Finley and the Lions crept back into the contest. Finley tied the game up at the 2:45 mark with a crafty layup. On Rose's next possession, the Fightin' Engineers regained the lead after Nick McGrail's circus shot found the bottom of the net as the sophomore fell to the floor. On the Lions' next possession it was again Finley who knifed his way into the paint and made another impressive layup to knot the score at 60 a piece. Rose-Hulman's final shot attempt in regulation missed its mark and both teams headed to overtime.
In overtime Mount St. Joseph jumped out to a 66-61 lead after a minute and a half of action and the Fightin' Engineers were not able to recover. Wade Stallings made two free throws with 35 seconds left that drew RHIT within four at 72-68. However, MSJ converted all four of their attempts from the charity stripe in the final seconds to secure the win.
Rose-Hulman was led by Aimone's 15 points and six boards. McGrail chipped in 12 points and four rebounds. Wojcik added 14 points off of the bench. Andrew Finley had 29 points, six assists, and four rebounds for MSJ.
With the loss the men dropped to 10-11 and 8-6 in the HCAC. Mount improved to 17-4 and 12-2 in the HCAC. The men will play on Wednesday February 8 at Earlham. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.