BLUFFTON, Ohio -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology took a two-game lead in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball standings with a 49-47 win at Bluffton University on Saturday afternoon.
The Fightin' Engineers improved to 16-3 overall and 11-1 in HCAC play with their sixth consecutive win. Rose-Hulman moves two games ahead of Bluffton and Transylvania in the conference standings, and also gains all tiebreaker edges over both teams in the battle for hosting rights for the league tournament on Feb. 24-25.
Sophomore Ally Bromenschenkel led the Fightin' Engineers with 13 points and five rebounds on a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Senior Josie Schmidt also reached double figures with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Other key contributors for the Fightin' Engineers included junior Alyzia Dilworth with eight points and four rebounds; sophomore Abby Bromenschenkel with seven points and three assists; sophomore Chiarra Franklin with five points and seven rebounds; and senior Abbie Marshall with four points and five rebounds.
Bluffton was led by Kaycee Rowe with 19 points. Macey Sheerer added nine points and nine rebounds for the host Beavers.
Rose-Hulman trailed by as many as 10 points, falling behind 28-18 at the half. A strong third quarter put Rose-Hulman back into contention, as the Fightin' Engineers closed the gap to 38-37 with 10 minutes remaining.
Bluffton started the fourth quarter strong, gaining an eight-point lead at 45-37 with 6:00 left. The Rose-Hulman defense then stepped up, holding the Beavers to just two points and no field goals in the last six minutes.
Two free throws by Ally Bromenschenkel, three foul shots by Schmidt and a layup by Abby Bromenschenkel brought the Fightin' Engineers within 45-44 with 1:51 left. Ally Bromenschenkel gave Rose-Hulman the lead at 46-45 on a pair of free throws with 1:26 left.
Another Bromenschenkel basket, this time by Abby, pushed the Engineer lead to 48-45 with 43 seconds left. Rowe answered with two free throws to bring the margin down to 48-47 in the final 30 seconds.
Dilworth missed a layup but grabbed her own rebound to keep Rose-Hulman with possession and a one-point lead. Finally with under one second remaining, Abby Bromenschenkel was fouled and hit one free throw, giving Rose-Hulman a 49-47 lead.
Bluffton advanced the ball with a timeout and had under one second go for the tie or win. A three-pointer by TJ Mills came up short at the buzzer to secure the Rose-Hulman win.
The Fightin' Engineers are 16-3 and 11-1 in league play heading into Wednesday night's matchup at Franklin College.