LEXINGTON, Ky. -- An explosive 27-3 run midway through the game, and a key basket in the final seconds, proved the difference as Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Semifinal Round with a 69-63 win over Hanover College on Friday night at Transylvania University.
Hanover led 33-19 with four minutes left in the opening half, before a 27-3 run featuring six three-pointers put the Engineers ahead 46-36 just four minutes into the second half. Senior Eli Combs sparked the run with 11 points in that four-minute span.
The game settled down into a tight contest in the final five minutes, with Rose-Hulman holding a narrow 65-63 advantage in the final minute. The Fightin' Engineers had possession, and Craig McGee hit the biggest shot of the night with 19 seconds to give Rose-Hulman a 67-63 lead.
After a defensive stop, McGee hit two free throws to give the Fightin' Engineers their final margin of victory. Rose-Hulman advances to the HCAC Tournament Semifinal Round, facing second-seeded Franklin College at 7 pm on Saturday.
McGee recorded his second triple-double of the season and just the second in Rose-Hulman history with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the effort. Michael Lake added 16 points on five three-point shots, and Eli Combs scored all 14 of his points in the second half.
Rose-Hulman improved to 14-12 and secured its 10th consecutive winning season with the victory. Hanover finished its season 17-9 after winning the last three HCAC Tournament championships.
Rose-Hulman will face Franklin on Saturday at 7 pm in semifinal round action. The HCAC Championship Game is set for 2:30 pm on Sunday at Transylvania.