December 21, 2013

Men's Basketball Rallies to Top John Carroll

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) and freshman Collin Wojcik (Schererville/Andrean) combined for 60 points with career-high scoring efforts to lead the Fightin' Engineers past John Carroll University 85-80 in men's basketball action on Saturday.

Strickland scored a career-high 36 points on 11-20 from the field and 12-13 from the free throw line to lead the offensive attack.  He added seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots in the victory.  The game marked Strickland's fourth 30-point game this season.

Wojcik poured in 24 points on 7-11 from the field and 8-9 on the foul line in his first double-figure scoring game.  He added four rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

Rose-Hulman rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit by shooting 52% from the field and hitting 26-31 free throws in the contest to improve to 7-3 on the season. 

Other key contributors for the Engineers included junior Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) with seven points and nine rebounds; and junior Michael Hallstein (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia) witjh six points and five rebounds.

John Carroll dropped to 6-2 overall despite a strong offensive performance.  Simon Kucharewicz led the Blue Steaks with 20 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots.  David Hendrickson added 16 points and a team-high four steals.

The two teams battled to a 24-24 tie midway through the first half, before John Carroll scored eight straight points to take a 32-24 lead on a three-pointer by Hendrickson at the 6:28 mark.  The lead reached double figures at 41-30 on a three-point play by Kucharewicz, and the Blue Streaks kept the lead at 45-34 at the half.

Rose-Hulman relied on a 6-0 run early in the second half to close within 50-46 on four points from Hallstein and two free throws by Strickland.  John Carroll maintained the lead and pushed the edge to eight points again at 57-49 after two more free throws by Kucharewicz at the 12:28 mark.

The Fightin' Engineers answered with a run of their own to close within 65-64 at the 9:03 mark after baskets from senior Alec Houpt (Chesterton) and freshman Wade Stallings (Indianapolis/North Central).  John Carroll regained another four-point lead at 69-65, before a Wojcik three-pointer made the deficit 69-68 with 6:24 left.

Rose-Hulman finally gained the lead at 70-69 on a Wojcik layup, then he buried another three-pointer to push the Engineer lead to 73-69 with 5:25 left.  John Carroll battled back to within 79-76 on a Hendrickson layup at the 1:40 mark.

Wojcik added a layup and two more free throws to push the lead to seven points at 83-76 in the final minute and secure the Rose-Hulman victory.

Rose-Hulman will take a Holiday Break, then return to action on January 4 with a home contest against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Bluffton University.