DEFIANCE, Ohio -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship game for the fourth time in the last five years with a 60-47 victory at top-seeded Defiance College on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman will compete for its fourth HCAC Tournament championship and fourth NCAA Division III Tournament in the last five years at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The opponent will be determined in today's 7 p.m. matchup between Mount St. Joseph and Transylvania.
Rose-Hulman shot 61% from the field and hit 11-14 free throws in the second half to turn a 26-26 halftime tie into a 13-point victory. The Fightin' Engineers also avenged a narrow 73-72 loss at the buzzer from last Saturday that allowed Defiance to serve as host for the HCAC Tournament.
Senior Matt Loesing led three players in double figures with 16 points. Senior Dillon Reynolds added 12 points and freshman Luke Callahan contributed 10 points.
Other key contributors for Rose-Hulman included senior Jimmy Miller with nine points; senior Tyler Duffy with five points and five assists; and junior Collin Wojcik with five points.
The Rose-Hulman defense was the key to victory, as the Fightin' Engineers held Defiance to just 33% from the field. Tyler Alexander led Defiance with 21 points, but no other Yellow Jacket scored more than seven.
Rose-Hulman also outrebounded Defiance by five and committed two less turnovers than the Yellow Jackets.
The Fightin' Engineers led 44-42 after Alexander scored with 6:50 remaining. Rose-Hulman held Defiance to just three points over the next five minutes and went on a 10-3 run to take a 54-45 lead with 1:21 left to secure the victory.
Rose-Hulman stands 17-10 on the season, while Defiance completed its season at 15-11.