Rose-Hulman Defeats Transy in Overtime to Secure NCAA Tourney Berth
LEXINGTON, KY – The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's basketball team escaped Lexington with a heart stopping win in overtime over Transylvania Sunday afternoon, 76-73, to claim the school's first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament title. It was the Engineers first appearance in the finals as a member of the HCAC.
After trailing by eight at the half, the third seed Engineers scored 42 second half points to knot the score at 71-71 at the end of regulation and outscored the host Pioneers 5-2 in the extra frame to pull out the win at the Beck Center. Rose-Hulman claims the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament set to begin next week, earning their first NCAA appearance since 1999.
Rose-Hulman (20-8) shot the ball well from the field, posting a shooting percentage of 55.6% in the win. The Engineers connected on 11 three point attempts and converted 15 of their 24 free throw attempts.
Leading the way for RHIT was sophomore guard Julian Strickland (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike). Strickland led the scoring attack with 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting. The sophomore connected on all five of his three-point attempts and added four rebounds, earning the tournament Most Valuable Player award for his efforts
Rose's Austin Weatherford (Cicero, Ind./Hamilton Heights) added 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the overtime win, earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
Transylvania (23-4) was represented on the all-tournament team by junior Barrett Meyer (Frankfort, Ky./Franklin Co.) and junior Ethan Spurlin (Stanford, Ky./Lincoln Co.). Meyer led the Pioneers with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting Sunday, while Spurlin contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds in the overtime defeat.
Anderson's Brock Morrison (Winchester, Ind./H.S.) and Hanover's Ryan Nowicki (Westfield, Ind./Guerin Catholic) earned the final two spots on the all-tournament squad.
Rose-Hulman will await its first round opponent in the NCAA Division III Tournament, while No. 16 ranked Transylvania waits to see if they will receive an at-large bid into the dance when the bracket is released. The announcement of the Division III men's basketball field will be presented via webcast on www.ncaa.com beginning at 12 PM Monday.
Rose-Hulman Head Coach Jim Shaw