LEXINGTON, KY. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rimmed out a potential game tying three-point shot in the final seconds, as Transylvania University held on to top the Fightin' Engineers 62-59 in men's basketball action on Saturday.
Following a Transylvania foul with 2.2 seconds remaining, freshman Collin Wojcik (Schererville/Andrean) rimmed out a shot that could have forced overtime. Tommy Sirkin grabbed the rebound to secure the Transylvania victory.
Senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) led all scorers with 26 points, including nine points in the final three minutes to get the Engineers within striking distance. Sophomore Jimmy Miller (Indianapolis/North Central) also reached double figures with 10 points, and Wojcik had career-highs of seven points and seven rebounds.
Alex Jones led three Transylvania players in double figures with 21 points. Mason Monroe added 14 points for the Pioneers and Parker Stansberry added 12 for a Pioneer squad that has joined Rose-Hulman in qualifying for the last two NCAA Division III Tournaments.
Transylvania shot 42% from the field and hit 12 of 14 free throws to provide the difference in the tightly contested game. The Fightin' Engineers had a 39-29 rebounding advantage and shot 40% for the game.
Transylvania grabbed its largest lead at 56-50 with 2:40 remaining, before a score and a conventional three-point play by Strickland brought Rose-Hulman within 58-55 at the 2:25 mark.
The Pioneers pushed their edge to 60-55 on a Monroe field goal, but Strickland's rebound basket off a missed three-point shot made the score 60-57 with 1:10 remaining.
After a Transylvania turnover, Strickland scored again to bring Rose-Hulman within 60-59 with 27 seconds left. Jones added two clutch free throws to give the Pioneers a 62-59 edge with 14 seconds left.
Transylvania decided to foul the Engineers twice in the final seconds in an attempt to prevent a game tying three-point shot. The second foul with 2.2 seconds left set the stage for the final possession.
Rose-Hulman opened the first half with a strong charge to take leads of 23-12 on a score by Miller and 25-14 on a Wojcik basket at the 6:26 mark. Transylvania answered with a 15-4 run to knot the score at 27-27 on two free throws by Monroe. A three-point play by Strickland gave Rose-Hulman a 32-30 edge at the half.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman pushed its lead to seven points at 37-30 on a score by senior Alec Houpt (Chesterton) with 18:44 remaining. Transylvania answered with eight straight points to regain the lead at 38-37.
The margin remained within one possession until a Stansberry basket put the Pioneers ahead 54-50 with 4:01 remaining.
Transylvania improved to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with the victory, while Rose-Hulman dropped to 3-3 and 1-1. The Fightin' Engineers travel to DePauw University on Wednesday night.