Men's Basketball Reclaims John Mutchner Cup

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TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology reclaimed the John Mutchner Cup with a 76-64 men's basketball victory over Earlham College at Hulbert Arena on Wednesday night.

Sophomore Matt Loesing (Elsberry, Mo.) scored a career-high 16 points to lead four Fightin' Engineers in double figures.  Loesing finished 5-6 from the field and 6-7 on the free throw line.

Sophomore Tyler Duffy (Fishers/Hamilton Southeastern) and senior Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) added 12 points each.  Duffy finished 5-6 from the field, while Strickland also dished out six assists.  Freshman Collin Wojcik (Schererville, Ind./Andrean) added 10 points and four assists.

Rose-Hulman shot 53% from the field in the contest and dished out 22 assists with just six turnovers in an efficient offensive performance.  The Fightin' Engineers also outscored Earlham 39-1 off the bench to win their sixth consecutive game.

The effort helped the Fightin' Engineers regain control of the John Mutchner Cup, named for the former men's basketball coach at Rose-Hulman who was also a standout student-athlete at Earlham.  Mutchner has been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at both institutions and presented the trophy to Rose-Hulman following the contest.

Jack O'Flaherty led the Earlham offense with 25 points, including 20 in the first half.  Michael Parker also reached double figures with 18 points for the Quakers.

Other key contributors for Rose-Hulman included junior Michael Hallstein (Hopedale, Ill./Olympia) with seven points; and senior Jordy Martin (New Albany) with five points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 10-point lead at 19-9 on a three-pointer by Hallstein, before Earlham closed within 23-22 on an O'Flaherty trey with 7:01 left in the first half.  Wojcik buried a three-pointer to push Rose-Hulman's lead back to eight points at 32-24, but O'Flaherty ended the half with a layup at the buzzer to bring the Quakers within 38-33 at the half.

In the second half, Earlham trimmed the lead to one point at 42-41 on a three-pointer by Michael Parker at the 15:21 mark.  Rose-Hulman answered with a 17-4 run over the next six minutes to push the lead to 59-45 on a conventional three-point play by Loesing.  The Quakers were never able to close within less than nine points down the stretch.

Rose-Hulman improved to 9-3 overall and 4-1 in league play, while Earlham dropped to 2-10 and 1-4 in conference games.  The Fightin' Engineers travel to HCAC co-leader Defiance College on Saturday at 3 p.m.