Kurtis Zimmerman - news editor emeritus
When you attempt fewer than 40 shots in a game, there are two winning strategies: make a high percentage of your attempts, or hold the opponent to a poorer offensive performance.Why not both?In their past two games, the Lady Engineers have shot 54.1 percent and 58 percent from the field – the latter being their best offensive performance in the past six years – and have held their opponents to 45 points and 44 points. Scoring 62 points on Saturday and 52 Wednesday night, Rose-Hulman grabbed key home HCAC wins against College of Mount St. Joseph and Anderson University.The two wins boosted the Lady Engineers to 10-10 overall and 6-7 in conference play, retaining the sixth spot in HCAC standings as of Wednesday night. The top six teams will be invited to the postseason conference tournament at the end of February.Bluffton sits one game behind Rose-Hulman, and both teams will finish out their regular seasons with three of the top four teams in conference standings: Transylvania, Hanover, and Defiance.Early in January, the Lady Engineers topped Mount St. Joseph 53-43 on the road, and they were able to earn the sweep off three double figure performances. Freshman Addie Johnson led all scorers with 17 points, while sophomore Gracie Gibbs followed with 12 points, and freshman Carrie Morris rounded out the set with 10 points. Johnson and Gibbs also joined sophomore Sheree Williams with four assists each.Key in the win against Mount St. Joseph was points earned from the free throw line. The Engineers shot 87.5 percent from behind the charity stripe to sink 21 of 24 free throws including a perfect 15 of 15 in the second half.While Saturday's win meant a sweep for the Engineers, Wednesday night the women's basketball team was looking to even the series with Anderson after suffering a 57-64 road loss to the Ravens three weeks prior.The Lady Engineers held the lead for the majority of the game before the Ravens fought back to take a three-point lead with just under six minutes remaining. However, the Engineers ended the game on a 14-3 run to grab the key win.Familiar faces filled the stat sheet, as Johnson again led all scorers with 15 points, six assists, and three blocks. Gibbs added nine points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks to make her presence known on both ends of the court.Freshman Cassidy Cain posted a career-high 14 points, and junior Kelsey Ploof provided scoring depth with eight points.Notable in the matchup was the return of junior Lauren Meadows, who provided depth off the bench. Meadows had not seen playing time since experiencing an injury in the December 15 loss to Hanover College. Prior to that game, Meadows had led the Engineer offense, scoring in double figures five out of seven games, including a career-high 23 points in the win over St. Mary-of-the-Woods.The Lady Engineers will look to extend their winning streak to five games in a road matchup with conference leader Transylvania University on Saturday. Their next home game will be February 13 against Earlham College.