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Strickland Nets 33 in Key Men's Basketball Win Over MSJ

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) scored 33 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 42 seconds to play, to lift the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's basketball team to a 65-60 victory over visiting Mount St. Joseph Saturday.

The win propelled the Fightin' Engineers (12-3, 7-1) into sole possession of first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings, while the Lions (9-5, 6-2) dropped into a two-way tie for second place with Hanover College.

Rose-Hulman also won its ninth consecutive game and seventh straight home game in the victory.

Strickland finished 11-17 from the field and 7-11 from three-point range in his fifth 30-point performance this season.  He added five rebounds and was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line in the victory.

Sophomore Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) added 11 points, and junior Michael Hallstein (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia) contributed nine points off the bench for Rose-Hulman.

Other key contributors included senior Jordy Martin (New Albany) with four points and six assists; sophomore Tyler Duffy (Fishers/Hamilton Southeastern) with five assists and three points; and sophomore Matt Loesing (Elsberry, Mo.) with five rebounds off the bench.

Senior David Mann led Mount St. Joseph with 16 points before fouling out late in the second half.  Joel Scudder also reached double figures with 12 points for the Lions.

Mount St. Joseph led for much of the first half, before Rose-Hulman rallied back to knot the score at 33-33 at the intermission. 

The Lions led by five points early at 10-5 and 15-10, then extended the lead to as high as nine points at 30-21 with 3:46 left in the first half on a Scudder basket.  The Fightin' Engineers closed the first half on a 12-3 run, highlighted by two three-pointers from Strickland and one by Martin, to tie the score.

In the second half, Mount St. Joseph again jumped out to a lead, this time by a 41-37 count on a Femi Thompson layup with 16:32 left.  Rose-Hulman rallied to tie the game at 44-44 on a Strickland field goal at the 13:30 mark.

Duffy put the Engineers ahead at 46-44, before Mount St. Joseph scored six straight points to regain a 50-46 lead on a Mann trey at the 9:52 mark.  Rose-Hulman battled back to earn a four-point lead twice, but Mount St. Joseph regained the lead again at 59-58 with two free throws by Andy Countryman at the 3:31 mark.

Rose-Hulman relied on its defense to secure the victory, holding the Lions without a field goal over the final 5:14.  Strickland put the Engineers back in front 60-59 with two free throws at the 1:27 mark.  After the Engineers forced a turnover, Strickland buried a three-pointer with 42 seconds left to give Rose-Hulman a four-point edge.  Two more Strickland free throws at the 14-second mark finished the win.

Rose-Hulman stands 12-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play, while Mount St. Joseph dropped to 9-5 and 6-2 in league games.  The Fightin' Engineers return to action at Hanover on Wednesday night.