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Strickland 41-Point Game Leads RHIT Past Manchester

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) scored a career-high 41 points to help lift the Fightin' Engineers past Manchester University 85-65 in men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

Strickland recorded the eighth 40-point game in the history of Rose-Hulman men's basketball in the contest.  His effort joins Don Ings (four times from 1967-70), Bryan Egli (twice in 1999) and Ed Downey (once in 1963-64) as 40-point games in Fightin' Engineer men's basketball history.

Strickland finished 13-20 from the field, 3-6 from three-point range and 12-13 from the free throw line before crossing the 40-point mark with five minutes left in the contest.  He also added seven rebounds and four assists.

With the win, Rose-Hulman maintains a one-game lead in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference at 12-2 in league play with four contests remaining.  The regular season league champion will host the HCAC Tournament later this month.

Rose-Hulman has also won 14 of its last 15 games and five consecutive contests after today's victory. 

Sophomore Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) joined Strickland in double figures with 10 points.  Seniors Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St. Louis) and Alec Houpt (Chesterton) joined sophomore Tyler Duffy (Fishers/Hamilton Southeastern) with six points each.  Houpt pitched in a team-high eight rebounds.

Strickland's performance overshadowed a strong game by Manchester's Brady Dolezal, who scored 28 points on 9-11 from the field and 9-11 from the free throw line to keep the Spartans within striking distance for much of the afternoon.

Manchester pulled Rose-Hulman's lead to within 14-10 on a layup by Dolezal with 14:25 left in the first half.  Strickland responded with three layups, one free throw and a three-pointer over the next two minutes to push Rose-Hulman's lead to 24-12.

Two more free throws and two more jumpers by Strickland pushed the Engineer edge to 32-16 at the 6:37 mark of the first half.  Another Strickland three-pointer pushed the lead to 39-25, before Manchester closed the first half with five straight points to move within 39-30 at the break.

In the second half, Manchester continued its spurt with a 10-3 start to move within 42-40 on a three-point play by Dolezal at the 15:45 mark.  After a layup by Houpt, Strickland provided two more field goals and three more free throws to give Rose-Hulman a 51-43 edge at the 13:55 mark.

Manchester fought to remain within contention at 55-46, but another five-point run by Strickland gave Rose-Hulman a 61-48 lead with nine minutes left.  He crossed the 40-point mark for the first time in his career with 6:31 left to make the Fightin' Engineer lead 69-50 at the 6:31 mark.

Rose-Hulman improved to 17-4 overall and 12-2 in HCAC play with the victory, while Manchester fell to 5-15 and 4-9.  The Fightin' Engineers host Hanover College in this year's Senior Night game on Wednesday at 7:30 at Hulbert Arena.