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Rose-Hulman Men's Basketball Advances to Sunday's HCAC Title Game

Rose-Hulman Men's Basketball Advances to Sunday's HCAC Title Game


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology advanced to its sixth Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game in the last nine years with a convincing 83-68 victory over Franklin College on Saturday night at Transylvania University.

The Fightin' Engineers have qualified for the HCAC Championship Game in every even-numbered year since 2012.  Rose-Hulman will seek its first NCAA Division III Tournament trip since 2014 when the Fightin' Engineers face top-seeded Transylvania University at 2:30 pm on Sunday afternoon.

John Czarnecki led four Fightin' Engineers in double figures with a season-high 20 points on 8-9 from the field.  Craig McGee added 18 points and eight assists.

Other double-figure scorers included Eli Combs with 12 points on 4-6 from the field, and Max Chaplin with 11 points and a perfect 3-3 from three-point range.

The balanced offense also featured Michael Lake with eight points and a career-high five steals; and Samvit Ram with a career-high eight points.

All told, Rose-Hulman shot 53% from the field and hit 12 three-pointers in the contest.  Matt Krause led three Franklin players in double figures with 25 points.  Borden Kennedy added 16 points for the Grizzlies.

The Fightin' Engineers rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to take a 35-34 lead at the break.  Franklin held a 55-53 lead, before Rose-Hulman answered with an 11-2 run to gain a 64-57 advantage on a run sparked by two three-pointers by Chaplin and another from McGee.

Franklin trimmed the margin to five points at 64-59, but three-pointers from McGee and Lake at the 4:55 mark gave Rose-Hulman a double-figure lead at 70-59 and secured the victory.

Rose-Hulman improved to 15-12 on the season and will face 18-8 Transylvania on Sunday.  The winner receives the HCAC automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.