GREENWOOD, IN -Rose-Hulman reduced its HCAC title magic number to one following a pair of wins last week. The Engineers (19-4, 14-2 HCAC) earned a 61-50 win over Hanover on Senior Night and capped the week with a 61-55 comeback win at Bluffton Saturday, earning head coach Jim Shaw his 300th career victory.
Senior guard Julian Strickland (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) continued his stellar senior season, averaging 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game as the Engineers ran their win streak to seven in a row. Strickland scored 27 points with six rebounds against Bluffton, after pouring in 26 points in the win over Hanover.
Rose-Hulman has clinched the first or second seed in the upcoming HCAC tournament and can lock up the top seed and hosting rights with a win over Franklin or Mount St. Joseph this week or a Defiance loss to Manchester or Franklin.
The 2014 HCAC men's basketball tournament will open on Tuesday, February 25 at the sites of the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. The opening round winners will advance to the top seed site for the semifinals and finals on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1.
In other action...
Defiance (18-5, 13-3 HCAC) remained in contention for a HCAC championship with two more wins last week. The Jackets have won four straight after beating Earlham and Transylvania last week. DC can clinch at least the No. 2 seed with a win over Manchester or Franklin this week. The Jackets need two wins and two Rose-Hulman losses to earn the top seed in the HCAC tournament.
Hanover (15-8, 11-5 HCAC) bounced back from the Rose-Hulman loss to beat Anderson 86-66. The Panthers are set to close the regular season schedule against Transylvania and Manchester this week.
Mount St. Joseph (14-8, 11-5 HCAC) went 2-0 last week behind two great outings from sophomore guard Joel Scudder (Greendale, Ind./South Dearborn). The sophomore scored a career-high 37 points with six rebounds, two assists, and a steal in a 90-79 win at Bluffton. He followed that performance with 16 points, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal in a 92-63 win over Manchester Saturday. The Lions will host Anderson and Rose-Hulman this week leading into the HCAC tournament.
Franklin (10-13, 7-9 HCAC) and Transylvania (9-14, 7-9 HCAC) will look to lock up a HCAC tournament berth with a single win this week. The Grizzlies and Pioneers can also secure a bid with an Anderson loss to Mount St. Joseph or Earlham this week.
For a complete recap of Week 14 in HCAC Men's Basketball, click here