DEFIANCE, Ohio -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on hot shooting and three players scoring in double figures to top Defiance College 76-66 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball opener on Saturday in Ohio.
Rose-Hulman shot 57% from the field in the contest and hit eight three-pointers to key the victory. The Fightin' Engineers also outrebounded Defiance by a 40-31 margin.
Craig McGee led the Rose-Hulman offense with team-highs of 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. McGee was 9-11 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range.
Ryuji Aoki provided balance to the attack with nine points, five assists and four rebounds. Zach Callahan contributed seven points and three rebounds, while Luke Callahan pitched in with five points and six rebounds.
Tyler Andrew led three Defiance players in double figures with 17 points. Davontae Kinnie had 12 points, and Marell Jordan added 10 points.
Rose-Hulman held a 38-29 lead at the half after shooting 56% and holding Defiance to 39%. McGee, Czarnecki and Zach Callahan had seven points each in the opening 20 minutes.
Aimone keyed a hot start to the second half with a trio of three-pointers in a 1:15 span in the second half, turning a 47-33 lead into a game-high 20-point advantage at 53-33.
Defiance trimmed the margin to 12 points at 56-44, before a three-pointer by McGee gave the Engineers a 15-point lead at 59-44 with 11:27 left.
Defiance made a late charge to close within 66-62 on a shot by Andrew with 3:40 left. A basket from McGee, two free throws by Czarnecki and a McGee layup pushed the lead back to 10 points at 72-62 with 1:51 remaining to secure the victory.
Rose-Hulman improved to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in HCAC play with the win, while Defiance dropped to 0-5 and 0-1. The Fightin' Engineers travel to Mount St. Joseph for another HCAC matchup on Wednesday night.