LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology battled Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University to a draw for 36 minutes, before the host Pioneers made plays down the stretch to pick up an 81-70 victory in men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
Playing without three starters from its most recent game due to injury, Rose-Hulman battled the host Pioneers to a 65-65 draw at the 4:11 mark of the second half. Transylvania answered with a 16-5 run the rest of the way to pick up a key conference victory.
Charlie Aimone led the Rose-Hulman offense with 19 points and four rebounds. Aimone finished 8-15 from the field and hit a pair of three-pointers in the contest.
Trey Sykes made his first career start and responded with a season-high 14 points. Sykes finished 4-10 from the field with two three-pointers and was also 4-5 on the free throw line.
Eli Combs and John Czarnecki pitched in with eight points each for the Fightin' Engineers. Nick McGrail added seven points along with three rebounds to provide scoring depth, and Michael Lake dished out six assists in the contest.
Gabe Schmitt led Transylvania with 22 points. Cooper Theobald added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Luke Schroeder also reached double figures with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Transylvania shot 52% from the field and hit 11-19 from three-point range to pick up a home win that puts the Pioneers one game behind Rose-Hulman in the current HCAC standings. Rose-Hulman had a solid shooting day of its own, hitting 47% from the field and 85% on the free throw line.
Rose-Hulman stands 13-6 and 9-3 in HCAC play, just one game behind first place Hanover College in the league standings. The Fightin' Engineers are in second place, one game ahead of both Transylvania and Bluffton (8-4) in the league race. The Fightin' Engineers travel to Hanover for a key HCAC in-state matchup on Wednesday night.