KENOSHA, Wis. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology junior Zach Callahan buried two free throws with five seconds remaining, and the Fightin' Engineers defended a potential game-winning three-pointer to defeat Aurora University 84-83 in men's college basketball action on Friday night.
With the win, Rose-Hulman advances to the championship of the Carthage Invitational and will face the host team on Saturday at 3 p.m. Central Time.
Callahan hit one free throw to put Rose-Hulman ahead 82-78 with 4:28 remaining, before the defenses took over down the stretch. Bailey Vance made two free throws and Rashad Johnson hit a three-pointer with 18 seconds left to put the Spartans in front 83-82 in the final seconds.
Callahan drew a foul and hit two free throws to give Rose-Hulman the lead at 84-83 with five seconds left. Johnson missed a three-pointer near the buzzer that was secured on a rebound by Eli Combs to secure the second Engineer win in three games this season.
Callahan capped a career night with his free throws. He finished 8-11 from the field with a career-high 23 points to lead the offense. Craig McGee narrowly missed the first triple-double in Rose-Hulman men's basketball history with 19 points, a career-high 12 assists and nine rebounds. Trey Wurtz also reached double figures with 12 points.
All five starters reached double figures for Aurora, led by Will Hrubes with 14 points. Vance scored 13 points and Shamar Pumphrey added 12 for the Spartans balanced scoring attack.
The Fightin' Engineers shot 53% for the game, hit 7-14 from three-point range and outrebounded Aurora 40-30 as the differences in the close victory.
Rose-Hulman improved to 2-1 and will face 4-0 Carthage in the championship game of the Carthage Invitational on Saturday.