TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to force overtime, then held Anderson University without a shot on its final possession to earn a 68-66 men's basketball victory on Wednesday night.
Senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) scored a game-high 25 points, including eight points in overtime, to help lead the comeback. Senior Alec Houpt (Chesterton) added a career-high 24 points on 11-15 from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds.
Anderson led 51-39 with 10:04 remaining after a three-pointer from Zach Ladd. The Fightin' Engineers answered with eight straight points to move within 51-47 on a conventional three-point play by Houpt at the 7:06 mark.
Anderson pushed the lead to seven points on a three-pointer by Max Mollauin, but Rose-Hulman answered with eight straight points again to gain a 55-54 lead with 3:05 left. Houpt scored on another layup to cap the spurt.
Houpt continued controlling the offense for Rose-Hulman down the stretch of regulation with a basket in the paint to tie the score at 57-57 with 1:26 left. Another Houpt layup gave the Engineers the lead again at 59-57 with 32 seconds remaining.
Mollaun hit one of two free throws with 13 seconds left to bring Anderson within 59-58, but the Engineers couldn't control the rebound on the miss and the Ravens had a chance to win in regulation. Micah Smith was fouled with four seconds left and hit one of two free throws to knot the score at 59-59.
Smith missed the second of two free throws, and Strickland grabbed the rebound with 4.3 seconds left. Strickland sprinted the length of the court and banked in a shot just after the buzzer from inside the three-point line that would have won the game. Instead, the teams battled for five extra minutes.
In the extra session, the score was tied again at 62-62 and 65-65. Nate Gross hit one of two free throws with 39 seconds left to put Anderson ahead 66-65 in the final seconds. Strickland was fouled once again and hit both free throws with 18 seconds left to give Rose-Hulman a 67-66 lead.
Gerald Harney missed a shot on the next possession, and sophomore Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) secured the rebound with 10.7 seconds left. Miller hit the first free throw to make the score 68-66 but missed the second, giving Anderson a chance for the tie or win.
The Ravens were held without a shot on the final possession, however, as Rose-Hulman maintained a share of first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings with the victory.
Other key contributors for Rose-Hulman included Miller with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals; and sophomore Tyler Duffy (Fishers/Hamilton Southeastern) with seven points and four rebounds.
Mollaun led Anderson with 18 points. Brett Anderson scored 12 points, Nathaniel Acree added 11 and Gross had 10 for the Ravens.
Rose-Hulman improved to 14-4 overall and 9-2 in HCAC play, while Anderson stands 4-14 and 4-7 in conference games. The Fightin' Engineers host Defiance College in a battle of the two teams left in a first-place tie in the league standings on Saturday at 3 p.m.