Rose-Hulman Wins HCAC Opener at Buzzer

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DEFIANCE, Ohio -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology freshman Luke Callahan scored in the paint as the buzzer as the Fightin' Engineers advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinals with an 82-80 win over Manchester University on Friday night.

Callahan hit a six-foot shot in the lane as time expired to move the Fightin' Engineers into the HCAC Semifinal game on Saturday at 5 p.m. at top-seeded Defiance.  Rose-Hulman improved to 16-10 overall, while Defiance enters the game with a 16-9 record.

Rose-Hulman rallied from a 10-point second half deficit to take its first lead of the second half at 80-78 on a basket by Dillon Reynolds with 1:01 remaining.  Manchester guard Adrian Johnson tied the score for the seventh time at 80-80 with 45 seconds remaining.

After a pair of defensive stops, Rose-Hulman had the final possession with the scored knotted at 80-80.  Reynolds dribbled up the left side of the floor and sent an entry pass into Callahan, who worked in the paint to score the game winner.

Senior Tyler Duffy led the Rose-Hulman offense with 19 points and four assists.  Callahan had 17 points on 9-10 from the free throw line.  Senior Matt Loesing added 16 points, and Reynolds was the fourth player in double figures with 11 points.

Manchester shot 60% from the field and 64% in the first half to build a lead for most of the contest.  The Fightin' Engineers answered by shooting 50% but hitting 21-24 free throw attempts to rally from the double-figure second half deficit.

Matt Brown led Manchester with 26 points off the bench.  Johnson scored 22 for the Spartans, and Enis Becirevic reached double figures with 11 points.

With the victory, Rose-Hulman advanced to the HCAC semifinal matchup at Defiance on Saturday at 5 p.m.  The Fightin' Engineers have won three of the last four HCAC Tournament championships entering this year's event.