TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Despite a valiant comeback in the final minutes, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's basketball team was unable to overcome 14-point second half deficit in Wednesday's 63-56 loss to Earlham College at Hulbert Arena.
With the loss, the Engineers drop to 8-12 overall and 6-7 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, while Earlham improves to 10-10, 6-7.
Senior Kelsey Ploof (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) netted her 18th double-double of her career in the setback, as she led the Engineers with 22 points and 10 rebounds – eight of them offensive. Ploof was one point shy of her career high of 23, set back during the 2011-12 season.
Freshman teammate Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) and sophomore Carrie Morris (Altadena, Calif./Mayfield) chipped in 10 points apiece for RHIT, which finished the game 23-of-50 from the field for 46 percent.
After entering halftime down 27-16, Rose-Hulman trailed by as many as 14 points after Earlham's Maya Luney hit a layup at the 12:32 mark. The Engineers trimmed the lead to seven on a Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton) jumper (40-33), but Earlham went on another run to extend its lead back to 14, 55-51, after a pair of Kasin Spay free throws with 5:07 to play.
The Engineers would not quit, as RHIT went on a 11-2 run over the next four minutes to cut the lead to five, 57-52, with 1:18 to go. Ploof scored seven of her 22 during the run, including a jumper, a layup and two free throws.
But the Quakers would hold on at the free-throw line, hitting 6-of-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the win.
Marshall added six rebounds and three assists and Williams finished the contest with six points and four assists for the Engineers.
Earlham's Bria Sneed led all scorers with 26 points and added four steals, while teammates Hannah Franklin (11 points) and Spay (10 points, seven steals) also reached double-figure scoring.
Rose-Hulman returns to the court Saturday, when the Engineers travel to Manchester for a 3 p.m. matchup. The Engineers will play their final home game at Hulbert Arena Feb. 19 in a contest against Franklin.