TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology opened Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a win on Saturday as the Fightin' Engineers defeated the visiting Yellow Jackets of Defiance College by a final score of 77-65.
Defiance jumped out to a quick 12-8 lead four minutes into the game, but the Fightin' Engineers used a 9-2 run over the next six minutes of play to gain a 17-14 advantage. With 1:28 left in the first half, Trey Sykes came up with a steal and converted the breakaway layup to give Rose-Hulman a 33-29 lead. Just before the first period concluded freshman Craig McGee added a driving layup to push Rose's lead to six at 35-29.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology would build a 10-point lead early in the second half when McGee hit a layup off of a nice feed from senior Stephen Schueth; McGee's basket put Rose in front 41-31 with 17 minutes left to play.
The Yellow Jackets would claw their way back into the game, using a 14-6 run that forced a Rose-Hulman timeout. DC trailed by just a basket, 47-45, with 12 minutes to go in the game.
The contest tightened up over the next seven minutes as both teams wrestled for control of the lead. The Fightin' Engineers finally gained some breathing room at the 3:17 mark when junior Charlie Aimone's layup pushed Rose-Hulman out to a seven-point lead at 67-60. Defiance was forced to foul in the final minute and Rose-Hulman went a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe to seal the win.
On the day, Rose-Hulman shot 51% (26-51) from the floor and the Fightin' Engineers went 24-31 from the foul line as a unit. Defiance shot 42.4% (25-59) for the game and the Yellow Jackets went 7-25 (28%) from three-point territory. DC was just 8-13 (61.5%) from the foul line.
Charlie Aimone led Rose-Hulman with 16 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Craig McGee added 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. John Czarnecki chipped in 10 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Ryuji Aoki added 10 points and two steals. Stephen Schueth finished with six points and five assists; he made all four of his free throw attempts in the final minute of the game.
Rose-Hulman improved to 1-0 in HCAC play after earning their first win of the season. Defiance dropped to 2-4, 1-1 HCAC. Rose-Hulman will return to the hardwood on Wednesday December 6 at 7:30 p.m. against Mount St. Joseph.