CLEVELAND, OHIO -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to take the lead, but Case Western Reserve rallied to earn a 79-74 victory in the Fightin' Engineer men's basketball season opener on Friday night.
Senior Corey Povaleri led the Rose-Hulman offense with career-high totals of 13 points and five assists. The balanced offensive attack featured five players in double figures, with junior Tyler Duffy, junior Jimmy Miller and sophomore Matt Loesing scoring 11 points each.
David Black came off the bench with a game-high 19 points for the Spartans, with Eric Black adding 13. Case Western Reserve also featured a balanced scoring attack that included Dane McLoughlin and Matt Clark with 12 points each.
Case Western Reserve jumped out to a 47-33 lead in the second half, before Rose-Hulman scored seven straight points to close within 47-40 on a layup by Povaleri with 15:26 left. Case Western held the lead at 58-52, before another 7-0 run by Rose-Hulman put the visitors ahead 59-58 on a score by Hallstein at the 8:21 mark.
Case Western led 69-66 with 3:03 left, but two free throws by Duffy and two more by Wade Stallings gave Rose-Hulman the lead at 70-69 at the 2:05 mark. After four straight points by Case Western, Loesing scored inside to close the deficit to 73-72 at the 1:02 mark.
David Black answered with a key three-pointer on the next possession to give Case Western a 76-72 lead. Duffy scored on a layup to bring the Engineers within 76-74, but Case Western answered with three more free throws in the final seconds to secure the victory.
In addition to Povaleri's 13-point and five-assist effort, notable career-high performances inlcuded Loesing with eight rebounds and Stallings with six boards. Junior Mitch Williams also had a career-high four points on 2-2 from the field.
Rose-Hulman stands 0-1 on the season and returns to action on Saturday at 5 p.m. against SUNY Geneseo, a narrow loser to Wilmington in the opener of the Case Western Reserve Invitational.