TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes to close within two points, but a contested shot in the paint fell just short at the buzzer in a 58-56 men's basketball loss at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday.
Rose-Hulman trimmed a 57-48 deficit down to 58-56 over the final three minutes, then had one possession with 3.6 seconds left to try and tie the score. A lob inbounds pass was caught in the lane, but a well defended shot by junior Tyler Duffy fell just off to the right at the buzzer.
Mount St. Joseph led 57-48, before two free throws by sophomore Collin Wojcik and a layup by senior Corey Povaleri brought the Engineers within 57-52 at the 2:22 mark. After Mount St. Joseph's Erik Edwards made one of two free throws, sophomore Wade Stallings scored to bring the deficit to 58-54 at the 1:29 mark.
Rose-Hulman forced another defensive stop, then junior Matt Loesing scored in the paint with 49 seconds left to bring the Fightin' Engineers within 58-56. Needing another stop, Rose-Hulman forced Bobby Murdock to miss a three-pointer at the 27-second mark, and Povaleri grabbed the rebound to give the Engineers a final chance.
After looking for the final shot, Rose-Hulman called timeout at the 3.6 second mark, setting the stage for the last play. Mount St. Joseph improved to 12-3 overall and maintained the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference lead at 7-1 in league play with the victory.
Loesing led the Rose-Hulman offensive effort with 18 points on 8-10 from the field for the second highest scoring game of his career. Wojcik added 15 points on 5-10 shooting and two three-pointers. Stallings and Duffy scored eight points each, with Povaleri contributing five points.
Mount St. Joseph had a balanced scoring attack, led by Femi Thompson with 12 points. Ken Kunkel and Travis Combs scored 10 points each, and Mark Allen added nine points for the Lions.
Rose-Hulman started quickly, gaining a seven-point lead early in the first half and holding a 32-29 edge at the break. Mount St. Joseph opened the second half on a 20-4 run, but Rose-Hulman methodically closed a game-high 13-point margin down to two in the waning seconds.
Rose-Hulman stands 9-6 overall and 5-3 in league play, while Mount St. Joseph keeps a one-game lead in the standings. The Fightin' Engineers host Hanover College on Wednesday night at Hulbert Arena.