TERRE HAUTE, IND. – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) tied a career-high with 31 points as the Fightin' Engineer men's basketball team topped Wabash College 77-68 at Hulbert Arena on Monday.
Strickland recorded his third consecutive 30-point game by finishing 8-13 from the field and 14-17 from the free throw line. He also set a career-high with five steals and dished out four assists in a 35-minute performance.
Sophomore Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) added a career-high with 14 points on 6-10 from the field and two three-pointers. Freshman Collin Wojcik (Schererville/Andrean) came off the bench with a career-high six points to provide depth.
Wabash placed three players in double figures, led by Kyle Aiton with 13 points. Daniel Purvlicis contributed 10 points and six rebounds, and Kasey Oetting came off the bench with 10 points for the Little Giants.
The two battled with six ties and nine lead changes in the first half, before Wabash took a 21-20 lead with 8:23 left in the opening half on a score by Daniel Purvlicis. Rose-Hulman answered with a 9-2 run over the next five minutes to push the lead to 29-23 on a layup by junior Michael Hallstein (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia).
Wabash rallied to knot the score at 30-30 late in the first half on a three-pointer by Gary Ulrich with 1:29 remaining. Miller answered with a three on Rose-Hulman's final first half possession to give the Engineers a 33-30 lead at the break.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman pushed the lead to eight at 42-34 on a conventional three-pointer by Strickland with 16:54 remaining. Wabash answered with seven straight points to move within 42-41 at the 15:12 mark.
The game remained tightly contested at 47-45, before four points from Strickland a layup by freshman Wade Stallings (Indianapolis/North Central) gave Rose-Hulman a 55-47 lead with 9:13 remaining.
Wabash closed to within three points, but another Rose-Hulman run featuring two free throws by Strickland and another Miller three-pointer pushed the Engineer lead into double digits at 66-56 with 3:47 left.
The Little Giants fought back to within four points at 69-65 on a basket by Aiton with 1:22 left, but another score by Strickland and two Rose-Hulman free throws secured the victory.
Rose-Hulman shot 51% from the field in the game and 57% in the second half to improve to 2-2 on the season. Wabash dropped to 0-5. The Fightin' Engineers return to action on Wednesday with the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener at Anderson University.