TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Rose-Hulman women's basketball team hosted their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game against Transylvania University on Saturday in Hulbert Arena. Before the game commenced the women's basketball program honored 45 Wabash Valley breast cancer survivors.
After the pre-game ceremony the ball was tipped and both teams squared off in an important Heartland Conference matchup between two of the top three teams in the HCAC. The Fightin' Engineers jumped out to a big lead early in the first quarter 24-11, after RHIT shot 55.6% (10-18) from the floor in the first 10 minutes of action. Rose-Hulman held Transylvania to just 36.4% (4-11) shooting and forced six Pioneer turnovers.
In the second quarter Transylvania steadied themselves offensively and used a late run before halftime to get within striking distance. Rose-Hulman led 40-24 with two minutes left in the second quarter but the Pioneers scored eight straight points to draw within eight at 40-32. The Pioneers outscored Rose-Hulman 21-16 in the second frame.
After halftime Rose-Hulman regrouped and used a strong push in the third quarter to increase their lead. The Fightin' Engineers clamped down defensively and held TU to only 20% (2-10) shooting from the field. RHIT only made five field goals in the third quarter but the team went 8-9 from the charity stripe. Rose-Hulman outscored Transylvania 18-10 in the third quarter and led 58-42 heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Transylvania opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run and held RHIT scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of action in the final quarter. Rose-Hulman held a steady double-digit lead over the Pioneers for the next four minutes but Transy got within seven points at the 2:20 mark at 68-61 after a three-pointer from Shelby Boyle. Sophomore Taylor Graham hit three of four free throws over the next minute but Transylvania crawled within five, 71-66, after a three-pointer from Ashton Woodard at the 1:08 mark. After a long possession sophomore Abby Bromenschenkel was forced to launch a 30-footer to prevent a shot clock violation with just 27 seconds left in the game; Taylor Graham swooped in and collected the offensive rebound and Transy was forced to foul. Rose-Human made five of six free throws in the final seconds and walked away with a 76-71 victory.
Graham led four Engineers in double figures with 16 points in 24 minutes of action of the bench. She was 9-10 at the foul line in the game. Junior Alyzia Dilworth scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds. Sophomore Ally Bromenschenkel scored 12 points and senior Josie Schmidt scored 13. The Fightin' Engineers forced 20 turnovers in the contest.
With the win, the women improved to 14-3 and 9-1 against Heartland opponents. Transylvania's eight-game winning streak was halted as the Pioneers lost for the first time since December 17 (Rose-Hulman won at TU 60-51 on Dec. 17). TU now stands at 13-4, 7-3 HCAC. The women will return to action on Wednesday January 25. The Fightin' Engineers will host Hanover in Hulbert Arena at 7:30 p.m.