ANDERSON — Last season, Anderson University's 1-24 women's basketball team dropped both meetings with Rose-Hulman by a combined 83 points.
Wednesday night, the Engineers came to AU with just about all their roster from a year ago, and they faced a Ravens squad with four freshmen either starting or playing significant roles and doing so quite well.
A lamentable occurrence in the final second prevented AU from perhaps taking the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference co-leading Engineers to overtime, and the visitors grabbed a 59-58 decision at the free-throw line.
AU freshman Hanna Ault fouled Abby Bromenschenkel, who was launching a 3-point shot from the top of the key with 0.3 of a second showing in a tie game. Bromenschenkel made the second of three foul tries, and that was good enough for her Engineers.
"Yes, it was unfortunate, and probably a little bit reflective of our youth," AU coach Lindsay Shade said. "But those things happen, and you have to learn from them and move on. It was a foul, and it was unfortunate, but those things happen when you have a young team."
That spoiled tremendous games from Ravens bigs Payton Moore and Hannah Hawkins. Freshman Moore powered her way to 24 points and nine rebounds, while Madison-Grant sophomore product Hawkins scored 11.
And it was not the ending AU (8-8, 4-5 HCAC) hoped for after it put itself in a spot to score its biggest win perhaps in many years, after being down 10 just before halftime and being held scoreless for nearly eight minutes in the second quarter.
The Ravens and Engineers (11-5, 8-1 HCAC) traded the lead six times in the fourth quarter, and there were four ties. There were 11 lead changes and six ties in the contest.
AU went on a 13-2 run and had its biggest advantage, 47-43, after Moore scored the last of five in a row for her on a long 2-point basket.
Rose-Hulman responded and took two leads of five, but back-to-back baskets by Hawkins, the latter part of a three-point play, put the Ravens back ahead, 56-54 with 1:26 to go.
Hawkins converted a feed from freshman Lexi Dellinger and banked in a contested shot with 2.6 seconds left to tie it at 58, but the foul by Ault and resultant free throw gave the game to the Engineers.
"The biggest thing was, we stayed out of foul trouble, and we talked about that a lot with our post players," said Shade, who added a key was neutralizing all-HCAC player Ally Bromenschenkel, Abby's twin sister. Ally had 11 and Abby 14.
AU finished 19-of-44 (43.2 percent) after shooting just 5-of-20 in the first half. The Ravens were 16-for-19 at the foul line.
Dellinger, the Ravens' leading scorer at 16.4 points per game, did not score and only attempted three shots.
The rematch with Rose-Hulman is Feb. 13 in Terre Haute.
Despite a career-high 22 points by Maurice Knight (Frankton), the AU men's team fell 78-72 at Rose-Hulman on Wednesday night. Mike Peters added 13 and Malik Laffoon 11 for the Ravens (6-10, 5-4 HCAC).
AU is scheduled to host Mount St. Joseph in a women's-men's doubleheader Saturday, with the women going first at 1 p.m. If weather forces a postponement, the games will be rescheduled for either Sunday or Monday, AU sports information director Steve Heath said.