NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will enter the Holiday Break tied for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball standings after earning a 62-48 victory at Manchester University on Saturday afternoon.
Ryuji Aoki led three players in double figures with 18 points and five rebounds on 6-11 from the field. John Czarnecki scored 13 points with six rebounds, and Charlie Aimone was also in double figures with 11 points and five rebounds.
Craig McGee contributed nine points, seven rebounds and four assists to the balanced team performance. Eli Combs added four points, and Nick McGrail led the team with seven rebounds along with three points.
Cornell Hampton led the Manchester offense with 13 points. The Spartans were held to just 27% shooting in the contest by a strong defensive effort by the Engineers.
Rose-Hulman relied on strong starts to both halves to earn the victory. In the first half, Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 21-6 lead with 8:39 left in the half after a run capped from a Czarnecki tip-in and an Aimone three-pointer.
Manchester closed within 28-22 at the half, but Rose-Hulman opened up the margin again with a fast start to the second 20 minutes. With the score 38-29, the Engineers relied on an 8-0 spurt that included a free throw from Aimone, a three-pointer and a free throw by McGee, and another trey from Aoki. The lead reached 20 points at 51-31 on a score from Combs and another three-pointer by Aoki.
Rose-Hulman improved to 3-1 in HCAC play and 6-4 overall, while Manchester dropped to 3-6 and 1-3 in conference play. The Fightin' Engineers return to action on Saturday Dec. 22 at home against Millikin University.