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WBB Preview: RHIT hosts Mount St. Joseph Saturday

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's basketball team will look to get back on the winning track when Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Mount St. Joseph comes to Hulbert Arena Saturday.
The Fightin' Engineers (6-8, 4-3) will take on the Lions (1-13, 1-6 HCAC) beginning at 1 p.m. The game will precede the men's contest, which tips at 3 p.m.
Rose-Hulman saw a three-game winning streak snapped in Wednesday's 51-31 road loss to Franklin College, putting RHIT in a three-way tie for fourth place in the league with Bluffton and Hanover.
Freshman Jamie Loving (Normal, Ill./Normal West) and junior Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C./Bluffton) led the Engineers with six points each in the loss.
Senior Kelsey Ploof (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) leads RHIT in scoring and rebounding with 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while freshman Kristen Belyea (Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet Seymour) adds 8.0 points per contest.
Rose-Hulman ranks first in the HCAC in both rebounding defense (holding opponents to 30.2 boards per game) and 3-point defense (opponents shoot just 21.1 percent against the Engineers) and rank third in scoring defense (59.6 ppg).
Ploof stands third in the HCAC in field goal percentage, as the senior has made 45 of 83 attempts for a crisp 54 percent. Belyea ranks fourth in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage (40.5 percent) and classmate Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) is fourth in free-throw percentage (85 percent).
The Engineers had scored victories over Bluffton (60-57), Earlham (62-57) and Defiance (63-57) before Wednesday's loss at Franklin.
Mount St. Joseph enters Saturday's contest on a seven-game losing streak, the latest loss Wednesday's 72-54 setback at Hanover. The Lions' lone victory came in a 74-67 decision over Defiance Dec. 7.
Six-foot sophomore Tara Dennis leads MSJ in scoring with 13.4 points per game, while 5-5 sophomore teammate Heidi McManus adds 11.4 points per contest.
Rose-Hulman swept both meetings with the Lions in 2012-13, winning 62-45 in Terre Haute (Jan. 26, 2013) and 53-43 in Cincinnati (Jan. 5, 2013). The Engineers lead the all-time series 14-5, which started in 2001. RHIT has won the six-straight against the Lions and the Engineers are 10-2 against MSJ under head coach Jon Prevo.
Live stats and video will be available for Saturday's game here: This is a link to client.stretchinternet.com/client/rhit.portal
Admission to Saturday's contest is $5. Children 5 and under are free.

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