HANOVER, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology placed five players in double figures and relied on a conventional three-point play in the final seconds by Luke Callahan to defeat Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason favorite Hanover College 71-69 in men's basketball action on Wednesday night.
The Fightin' Engineers trailed 69-68 with 10 seconds remaining and had a chance to take the lead on the free throw line. After a missed free throw, Charlie Aimone grabbed an offensive rebound and made a quick pass to freshman Craig McGee. The point guard rocketed a pass underneath to Callahan, who scored on a layup at the 5.2 second mark to put Rose-Hulman in front 70-69. Callahan made the following free throw to put the Engineers in front 71-69.
On its final possession, Hanover went for the win. Cam Fails had a look at a three-point shot on the wing at the buzzer, but it fell short as Rose-Hulman celebrated a win at Hanover for the second consecutive year.
Callahan led the Rose-Hulman offense with 17 points along with five rebounds. McGee recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 11 assists. John Czarnecki added 13 points to the balanced Rose-Hulman scoring attack.
Nick McGrail came off the bench for 11 points, and Aimone rounded out five Rose-Hulman double-figure scorers with 10 points and four rebounds. The Fightin' Engineers shot 54% for the game and held Hanover to 4-18 (22%) from three-point range.
Fails led the Hanover offense with 22 points and five assists. Nick White scored 14 points for the Panthers, and Isaac Hibbard added 10 points for a Hanover team that reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2017.
The Engineers led for the majority of the second half, holding a 63-61 lead on a McGrail layup with 4:34 left. Hanover answered with six straight points to take a 67-63 lead.
A basket from McGee and a conventional three-point play by Aimone brought Rose-Hulman within 69-68 in the final 30 seconds, setting the stage for the game's final plays.
Rose-Hulman improved to 6-6 on the season and 4-1 in league play, while Hanover dropped to 8-4 and 3-2 in league games. The Fightin' Engineers return to action at Earlham College on Saturday at 2 p.m.