DePauw's men's basketball team came roaring out of the gates Monday night against Rose-Hulman, starting the game off an 11-0 run.
But a barren spell in the middle of the second half gave the Engineers enough time to mount a comeback and win a 67-59 encounter with the Tigers.
DePauw opened up the 11-point window on the back of a lay-up from Cameron Burns and three three-pointers from Michael Wilkinson and Sean Haseley.
The Tiger lead would stretch as high as 13 after a lay-up from Tommy Fernitz as Rose-Hulman began to find some sort of offensive consistency.
A warning sign of things to come came in the middle of the period. One single possession saw the Engineers grab five consecutive offensive rebounds and, while only scoring two points, seemed to energize the visiting bench.
The extra possessions allowed Rose-Hulman to close to within five points before an Ian Rumpp three and Alex Payne lay-up gave the Tigers a 10 point advantage going into halftime.
Both squads began the second half by trading baskets and the DePauw lead was at nine points at the 13:31 mark following six straight points from Tommy Weakley.
But from there, DePauw's offense suddenly went ice cold.
Over the next nine minutes, Rose-Hulman outscored DePauw 22-3 to find themselves with a 10-point lead at 57-47.
Weakley hit a three to cut the lead to seven, but the Tigers could only cut the lead to as close as five twice as the Engineer offense was in full motion and kept the game out of reach for the home side.
DePauw head coach Bill Fenlon was disappointed with the result in a game the Tigers had the lead for two-thirds of the game.
"I thought we were really good defensively for the most part in the first half and I also thought we had some pretty good things going on offense. It kind of got away from us in the second half," Fenlon said.
"I thought we lost our concentration on defense a little bit. That helped them get going a little bit. Offensively, we just didn't execute very well in the second half.
"They're making a comeback, getting it into that five, six point range and we missed two front ends of one-and-one's. I thought that turned the tide a little bit."
"If we could have kept them at bay at that point, we might have been able to make a couple of other things happen. But you can't do everything," Fenlon added.
"You can't turn it over, not make free throws, get out rebounded and expect to win. It just doesn't work like that."
At 5-4 entering the Christmas Break, Fenlon said his squad needed to break out of the mold they've set themselves in.
"If you look at it on paper, we've beaten the teams we probably should beat and gotten beaten by the teams that probably should beat us," Fenlon said.
"That's what we just told the players. It's easy for us to say that we're young so our concentration is going to be in and out, up and down, this and that and that's kind of how this game went.
"We need to buck that cliché. It doesn't have to be that way. We've got a lot of guys playing for the first time and we need them all to play a little bit better."
The Tigers will next be in action in the warmer confines of Tampa Bay for the Tampa Bay Shootout, first facing off with the State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNYIT).
Fenlon said figuring out new opponents would be a reoccurring theme this season.
"We'll see two of them live the night before we play them and we'll have film on them going in so we'll have scouts ready for all three of those teams. It's really not a lot different from the people that we play up here," Fenlon said.
"We've got people in the (NCAC) from Pennsylvania. For us, we're in a brand new league, so we're seeing ten teams for the first time.
"That's just part of our business right now. Every team we play, we don't know a lot about them. We're trying to pick it up as we go."
At Neal Fieldhouse, DePauw
Rose-Hulman 26 41 -- 67
DePauw 36 23 -- 59
Rose-Hulman -- 23-56 FG, 5-13 3-FG, 16-25 FT
Weatherford 17, Gissentanner 13, Harlan 11, Strickland 10, Haslag 5, Dodd 5, Balsbaugh 3, Gerken 3
DePauw -- 21-45 FG, 8-19 3-FG, 9-13 FT
Weakley 11, Haseley 10, Wilkison 9, Rumpp 9, Burns 7, Flynn 6, Payne 5, Fernitz 2