GREENCASTLE, Ind. – The Franklin College men's basketball team tipped off the 2017-18 regular season on Wednesday night, taking on in-state rival DePauw University inside the Neal Fieldhouse.
The youthful Grizzlies (0-1) went toe-to-toe with an experienced DePauw (1-0) team, trading four leads and three ties in the opening 10 minutes. But the Tigers would slowly begin to pull away late in the first half, taking a lead they wouldn't surrender before the break. DePauw would pull away in the second half, taking the game by a score of 90-72.
Four Grizzlies recorded double-digit point totals on Wednesday night with Sam Gutierrez leading Franklin with 16 points in his first career game. Sophomore Jordan Anderson finished with a career-high 14 points in his first career start while Borden Kennedy and John Beineke added 10 points each.
Both teams came out running to start the game, getting up and down the floor at a blistering pace. Franklin took their largest lead of the night at the 14-minute mark of the first half thanks to consecutive jumpers from Kennedy and Kyle Meyer that put the Grizzlies up 13-9.
DePauw would re-claim the lead thanks to back-to-back threes from David Vogel, but Franklin would answer with a triple of their own from Anderson to even things up at 20. DePauw would rattle off a 10-4 run that gave them the lead for good. Franklin would stay within striking distance up until the break, trailing the hosts 41-34 at the half.
Franklin opened the second half with a 6-0 run, getting layups from Kennedy, Anderson and Ismail Jones to cut the lead to one with 17:17 left in the game. DePauw would turn to the three-pointer to extend their lead, but Franklin would hang tough, cutting the deficit to 51-46 with 14 minutes to go after a jumper from Meyer.
That was as close as the Grizzlies would get as the Tigers rattled off an 8-2 run to stretch their lead to double figures for the first time. DePauw would connect on 66.7 percent (18-for-27) of their field goals in the second half, pulling away down the stretch.
Franklin connected on 43.5 percent (27-for-62) of their shots on the night, going 4-for-13 from long range and 14-for-20 from the free throw line. Five Tigers finished in double figures on the night as the team connected on 55.2 percent (32-for-58) of their attempts, connecting on 6-for-16 tries from deep and 20-of-26 free throw attempts.
Franklin finished with a 34-29 advantage in the rebounding battle with Beineke leading all players with nine boards. In his first career game, freshman Danny Goggins finished with six rebounds, second most on the club.
The Tigers held a 16-11 advantage in the turnover battle and a 23-9 edge in points off turnovers. DePauw also recorded 42 points in the paint to 34 for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies will be back in action on Saturday night, traveling to Mount Vernon, Iowa to take on the Rams of Cornell College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. eastern time.