After suffering three consecutive losses, including two to the conference’s leaders Transylvania and Hanover, the Engineer women’s basketball team bounced back this week with two defensive stands. Starting with a 53-47 win over the Bluffton Beavers last Saturday, the Lady Engineers held the Manchester Spartans to just 22.9 percent shooting in a 39-34 road win.
On Saturday, the Lady Engineers put three players in double figures while holding the Beavers to just 33% shooting to earn a convincing conference win. The first half remained close as the two teams traded baskets for just over 11 minutes, with Rose behind 13-14, but a jumper from Carrie Morris gave the Lady Engineers the lead they would hold on to for the remaining 28 minutes.
Morris led the team in scoring with a career-high 14 points, and junior Kelsey Ploof and fellow freshman Addie Johnson joined her in double figures with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Ploof recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 10 rebounds.
Sophomores Sheree Williams and Gracie Gibbs were key off the bench; Williams added seven points off five of six from the free throw line, and Gibbs put up five points and pulled down eight defensive rebounds.
Following the momentum boost of a win on Saturday, the girls travelled to Manchester University for a chance to redeem their loss to the Spartans at home early in December.
Both teams played heavy defense in the first half, and the Lady Engineers edged out a 15-14 lead after the first 20 minutes of play. In the second half, the Spartans earned back a nine-point lead with just under 13 minutes remaining in the game, but a five-and-a-half minute 11-0 run gave the edge to the Engineers at 33-30.
Closing out the game with six of eight buckets from the charity stripe, the Lady Engineers returned home with a 39-34 win to bump them to 8-10 overall and 4-7 in HCAC play, tied for sixth place in the conference with Bluffton.
Johnson led all scorers with 12 points off a six-of-nine performance from the free throw line. Williams put up nine points, while Ploof, Gibbs, and freshman Cassidy Cain each added six to round out the Engineer scoring effort. Ploof demonstrated her rebounding prowess with a demonstrative 16 rebounds, including 14 on the defensive end.
The Lady Engineers will compete in two consecutive home games against Mount St. Joseph on Saturday and Anderson on Wednesday night before heading out for three straight on the road against HCAC foes.
The annual Breast Cancer Awareness game will tip off this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Hulbert Arena at 1 p.m.

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