RICHMOND, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology clinched a bye in the upcoming Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Tournament with a 53-42 victory at Earlham College on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Rose-Hulman improved to 14-2 in conference play and clinched no worse than the No. 2 seed for the event later this month. Transylvania leads the conference at 15-1 in league play, followed by Rose-Hulman at 14-2. The top seed following the end of the regular season next Saturday will host the tournament.
Rose-Hulman relied on a strong defensive effort in the first and third quarters to secure a comfortable margin. The Fightin' Engineers jumped out to a 15-5 lead after the first quarter, then outscored Earlham 20-7 in the third quarter to pick up their fourth consecutive win.
A pair of double-doubles helped lead Rose-Hulman to the victory. Ally Bromenschenkel scored 22 points and added 11 rebounds for her 24th career double-double. Abby Bromenschenkel scored 11 points and added 10 rebounds for her 2nd career double-double.
Taylor Graham came off the bench for a season-high 14 points on 5-7 from the field and 2-3 from three-point range to provide a third scoring option. Debie Gedeon added three points and four rebounds, and Jenna Queary contributed seven rebounds as the Fightin' Engineers outrebounded Earlham 43-32.
The Rose-Hulman defense helped set the tone for the victory. Earlham was held to just 23% from the field and 24% from three-point range by the Engineer defense. Kayla Bowling led Earlham with 13 points off the bench.
Rose-Hulman improved to 17-6 overall and 14-2 with the win, while Earlham dropped to 8-15 and 6-10. The Fightin' Engineers return home for two games next week, hosting Anderson University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Manchester University on Saturday at 2 p.m. to close the regular season. Rose-Hulman begins the HCAC Tournament with a semifinal game on Friday Feb. 22.