TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology withstood a furious late rally from Franklin College to earn a 69-66 men's basketball victory in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night.
With the win, Rose-Hulman moved into outright second place in the HCAC standings at 6-1 in league play with its seventh consecutive victory.
Rose-Hulman led 65-55 with 4:37 remaining, before Franklin scored six straight points to close within 65-61. Two Franklin baskets were sandwiched around two Rose-Hulman free throws, and the Fightin' Engineer lead stood at 67-65 with 1:11 left.
Franklin regained possession and Kyle Meyer was fouled in the act of shooting with 15 seconds remaining. Meyer hit the first free throw and made the second, as the Grizzlies closed within 67-66.
Rose-Hulman answered with two free throws from Charlie Aimone to regain the lead at 69-66. Franklin had two three-point shots to tie in the final 12 seconds, but the final shot by Gavin Collier fell just to the right at the buzzer.
Franklin was led by Borden Kennedy with 19 points and John Beineke with 16 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Rose-Hulman pushed its lead to as high as 13 points at 58-45 midway through the second half. The highlight was a sequence of back-to-back possessions that saw a McGee ally-oop pass to Whitaker for a dunk, followed by a McGee coast-to-coast conventional three-point play on a spectacular layup.
The Fightin' Engineers improved to 8-6 overall and 6-1 in league play, while Franklin dropped to 3-11 and 2-5 in league play. Rose-Hulman returns to action on Saturday at 1 p.m. with a home matchup against Bluffton.