TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Bluffton University have been No. 1 and No. 2 atop the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings all season. The Fightin' Engineers remained undefeated in HCAC play with a convincing 64-40 win over the Beavers Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena. RHIT has now won 31 straight home games, the longest active streak in NCAA Division III basketball.
Saturday's game also served a special purpose as it was Rose-Hulman's Breast Cancer Awareness game. Prior to the tip of the game, over 40 breast cancer survivors from the Wabash Valley were honored with a ceremony at center court. Breast cancer hits close to home as Head Coach Jon Prevo and his wife, Deanna, are both cancer survivors.
Rose-Hulman commanded the opening quarter of the game, jumping out to a 17-7 lead. RHIT shot 7-12 (53.8%) in the first 10 minutes and forced four Bluffton turnovers. Rose-Hulman's play was solid in the second quarter as well, outscoring the Beavers 16-12. BU was held to just 29.2% (7-24) shooting in the opening half and committed 10 turnovers. RHIT ended the half on a high-note as Debie Gedeon tipped in a missed Fightin' Engineer jumper at the buzzer to give Rose-Hulman 33-19 lead at the break.
Rose-Hulman's defense shutdown the Beavers in the second half. Bluffton shot just 6.7% (1-15) in the third quarter and 28.6% (4-14) in the fourth quarter. For the game BU shot 22.6% (12-53) from the field. RHIT was efficient on the offensive end of the floor, shoointg 46% (23-50) from the field for the game. The Fightin' Engineers also made good use of the free throw line, making 16 of 21 attempts.
Chiarra Franklin led a balance Rose-Hulman attack with 13 points and eight rebounds. Taylor Graham posted 13 points, two assists and two steals in 24 minutes off the bench. Ally Bromenschenkel scored 12 points, grabbed seven boards and had three blocks. Debie Gedeon scored eight points and Alyzia Dilworth added seven points for Rose.
The win improved RHIT's current winning streak to 10 games. The Fightin' Engineers are now 12-3 and 8-0 in the HCAC. Bluffton fell to 11-4, 6-2 HCAC. Rose-Hulman will return to action on Wednesday January 17 against Anderson. Tip from Hulbert Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.