TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's basketball team used a balanced scoring attack to lead a strong second half performance, earning a 76-61 win at Bluffton University on Saturday afternoon.
With the score tied at 48-48 with 10 minutes remaining, Rose-Hulman outscored the hosts 28-13 the rest of the way to improve to 1-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The balanced attack featured five players in double figures, led by Craig McGee with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Michael Lake contributed a career-high 16 points on 4-4 from three-point range and four assists to the effort. Terry Hicks recorded his first double-figure game at Rose-Hulman with 13 points. Eli Combs added 11 points and five assists, and John Czarnecki pitched in with 10 points and a season-high nine rebounds.
Jameel Cosby paced Bluffton with 21 points. Andrew Renner and Aaron Rich both reached double figures with 14 points each for the Beavers.
Rose-Hulman led 29-28 at the half on a shot by McGee in the final seconds of the opening 20 minutes. In the second half, Rose-Hulman built a 48-40 lead before Bluffton scored eight straight points to tie the score.
McGee proved the Engineer difference maker in the final half, scoring 17 points after halftime. The score was tied at 50-50 before a 12-2 run by the Engineers over three minutes proved the key. Combs capped the rally with a three-point shot at the 5:01 mark to make the score 62-52.
Bluffton closed within seven points twice in the second half, but Rose-Hulman closed the game with the final eight points to secure the victory.
Rose-Hulman improved to 3-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play, while Bluffton dropped to 4-4 and 1-2 in league games. The Fightin' Engineers return to home with a non-conference matchup against Wabash College on Monday at 7:30 p.m.