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Men's Basketball Battles to Pick Up 79-68 Home Win Over Earlham

Men's Basketball Battles to Pick Up 79-68 Home Win Over Earlham

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on strong rebounding and free throw shooting to pick up a 79-68 men's basketball victory over Earlham College on Saturday afternoon at Hulbert Arena.

The Fightin' Engineers outrebounded Earlham 47-24 in the contest, highlighted by 16 offensive rebounds.  The team also hit a season-high 31 free throws on 36 attempts, hitting at an 86% clip.

Craig McGee led three players in double figures with 19 points on 5-10 from the field, three three-point shots and a perfect 6-6 from the foul line.  Nick McGrail added his first career double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Charlie Aimone also reached double figures with 13 points.

The starting balanced starting five also included John Czarnecki with nine points and a career-high 12 rebounds; and Ryuji Aoki with eight points and four assists.  Key statistical contributors also included Eli Combs with six points; Zach Callahan with five points; and Jacob Back with four points and three rebounds.

Darrell Hutchison led the Earlham offense with 19 points.  Double-figure scorers for the Quakers also included Kenneth Stalling with 13 points; Jamel Barnes with 11 points; and Blake Bonin with 11 points.

The tight first half started with Earlham taking a 20-14 lead midway through the opening 20 minutes.  Rose-Hulman rallied to tie the score at 24, 26 and 29, before two free throws by McGee and a field goal by Combs gave Rose-Hulman a narrow 33-31 lead at the half.

In the second half, a three-pointer by McGee and two-point shots from Aoki and McGee pushed Rose-Hulman ahead 44-39 at the 13:44 mark.  Earlham closed to within 56-54 on a score by Hutchison with 8:25 remaining.

Rose-Hulman scored seven straight points to push the lead to 63-54 at the six-minute mark.  McGrail scored four points, McGee two and Callahan added a free throw to spark the rally.  Earlham closed to within six on one occasion, before the Engineers took control down the stretch to finish off the victory.

Rose-Hulman improved to 9-4 and 5-1 in HCAC play with the victory.  The Fightin' Engineers remain in a tie for the HCAC lead with Transylvania at 5-1 in league play.  Earlham stands 3-10 overall and 2-4 in league contests.  Rose-Hulman returns to action on Wednesday at Franklin College.