WHITEWATER, Wis. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from a 16-point deficit to close within 53-52 in the final three minutes, but Gustavus Adolphus held on to earn a 60-52 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Gustavus Adolphus maintained a double-figure lead at 51-40 with 8:39 remaining. Rose-Hulman answered with a 10-2 run over the next six minutes to close within 53-52. Abby Bromenschenkel opened the run with back-to-back layups, Lindsey Fagerberg ascored on two layups and Kayla Gerken added another to bring the Engineers within one possession. Chiarra Franklin capped the run with an 18-foot jumper at the 2:46 mark, and the Golden Gusties lead was down to 53-52.
Gustavus Adolphus answered with a three-pointer by Kendall Thompson on its next possession, then held the Fightin' Engineers scoreless for the remainder of the contest to secure the win.
Ally Bromenschenkel joined Franklin in leading the Rose-Hulman offense with 12 points each. Bromenschenkel was 6-10 from the field with five rebounds and four assists, and Franklin led the team with nine rebounds. Fagerberg was also in double figures with 10 points.
Miranda Rice led the Gustavus Adolphus offense with 23 points and eight rebounds. Mikayla Miller added 19 points for the Golden Gusties.
Rose-Hulman caps a memorable 24-4 season that was highlighted by the first national ranking for any women's sport in school history. The Fightin' Engineers reached No. 20 in the D3hoops.com national poll and entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 23 by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Rose-Hulman also became the first team in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference history to finish a perfect 18-0 in the regular season and win the league tournament. The Fightin' Engineers enter the 2018-19 season with the nation's longest active home winning streak at 38 games, and are projected to return 13 of their 15 players next season, including the top two scorers.
Gustavus Adolphus advances to round two of the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 22-6 record after earning an at-large bid from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.